Turning the tables: The advantage of an ethical hacking evaluation

May 27, 2013

The average Australian business owner need only open a newspaper these days to see for themselves the increasing propensity of cybercrime across the globe.

While exact figures are unknown, experts have placed the cost of cybercrime to the global economy at anywhere from US$100 billion to $1 trillion per annum.

Those are numbers that simply cannot be ignored, and that highlight the importance of comprehensive and ongoing vulnerability management .

Despite this, many Australian IT and IT security professionals still willingly admit that the current cybersecurity protocols and digital defence resources in their organisation are not up to scratch.

A recent Juniper Networks survey found that the average Australian IT professional ranks the security of his or her business at just a 4.5 on a ten point scale – indicating an alarming lack of preparedness to tackle the cybersecurity challenges of 2013.

So the question must be asked, what can my organisation do to further enhance cybersecurity and protect against a digital attack?

The advantage of an ethical hacking evaluation

Ethical hacking is one of the newest and most innovative methods of evaluating cybersecurity within an organisation, and is a sure-fire way to determine whether there are weak spots or vulnerabilities within your system.

An ethical hacking evaluation involves a team of highly trained security experts simulating a legitimate attempt to access confidential information within your database.

This information can be an actual piece of secure data, or can be a dummy file planted by your organisation – the choice is yours.

The ethical hacking team will utilise a variety of traditional and creative cybercrime techniques in order to gain access to the file, including social engineering, phishing, covert engineering and system exploitation.

While these terms might sound intimidating, it is important to realise that they are all actual techniques that might be employed by actual cybercriminals.

By simulating such eventualities in a safe and secure manner, you can determine whether or not your business is presenting potential exploit points for determined cybercriminals.

The final report delivered to your organisation will be completely private and confidential, and will provide you with invaluable information as to where you might improve your cybersecurity processes.

The best part is that the entire evaluation can be conducted with minimal downtime or loss of productivity, ensuring that your business continues running at optimal efficiency throughout.

With the week of May 20-24 serving as National Cybersecurity Awareness Week, there simply is no better time to get your house in order and ensure the security of your confidential data.

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