Does the ethical hacker exist?
If an online company is large enough they might consider the services of a white hat hacker. Typically when you hear the word ‘hacker’ it conjures up someone who, with ill intent, searches for ways to mine your company data and destroy or replace data. However, a white hat hacker is someone who could use their abilities to harm your business, but they make the choice to help uncover security failings in your system and then assist in finding ways to protect your company from other hackers.
The reason this approach is helpful to many companies is that if they can revamp their online store to close the backdoor entrance to would be hackers then their company data can be safeguarded. Customers often experience an even greater level of trust and security in the online store resulting in improved performance in online sales and up-time.
Proper precautions for hackers
Maybe this explains why so many of the larger online businesses seem to have less downtime and experience fewer problems. Most hackers know they will have a harder time getting into these systems than smaller companies that may not have the resources to investigate every possible security leak.
That being said, it is important for any online business to make sure they take proper precautions by installing anti-virus protection, spyware removal tools, and firewall protection. This should not even be a debated position. Your customers deserve the safety that only you can provide through appropriate protective measures.
Hackers don’t always target a specific site so much as they work to create software that looks to find an entrance to your online store data and then they investigate what can be found on those sites they can infiltrate. Some hackers have said they mean no harm; they simply are curious and have found new ways of finding out information. Too often this is information they should not have access to.
The truth is some hackers consider what they do as a means of making the online environment safer for individuals and businesses. If they can disable an online store or take over a website they figure this proves what they have been saying all along – sites are not as safe online as some think. To their credit what hackers have learned has often resulted in a better way to secure websites in general, but the other, and even more important side to this security coin is that online business must remain vigilant in the safeguard of their company data.
This whole process is a bit like the progression from small town America where everyone left their doors unlocked because it just wasn’t polite to take something that didn’t belong to you to the point where alarms are tripped if someone tries to enter your home after you set the alarm. Things have changed in an online sales environment and applying strong security measures to your site is not only in your best interest but also the interest of your customers who place their trust in your ability to safeguard their data.
Also published on Medium.