When it comes to finding the talent required to ensure IT infrastructures are secure, enterprises usually look for professionals with extensive experience regarding defensive strategies.
However, knowing the techniques hackers are using to infiltrate databases and networks can give companies a more holistic view of IT security. Using vendor resource management tools to connect with experts possessing the wherewithal to bypass sophisticated IT protection systems is a solid first step.
The world of white-hat hacking
The image of a teenager glued to his or her computer screen, navigating through the Web and dismantling enterprise operations is often associated with criminal behavior. However, there's an entire contingency of such figures dedicated to helping organizations identify security faults.
Joseph Williams, a contributor to Take Part, acknowledged these IT enthusiasts as white-hat hackers - cyberwarriors who are either self-educated or instructed by a third-party in the craft of database and network infiltration. A company dedicated to providing such an unorthodox but helpful service is ESET North America, which tests business websites for defects.
"White-hat hackers are to computer programmers as editors are to writers," said ESET North America Senior Researcher Stephen Cobb, as quoted by Williams. "If you do it yourself, you don't always see the flaws."
Networking with budding professionals
Given this perspective, the benefits of contracting a strategic sourcing agent to connect enterprises with potential hires specializing in hacking can be enormous. These firms can sanction communications between clients and organizations that foster interest in white-hat tactics.
For example, Williams referenced Cyber Boot Camp, a week-long convention sponsored by ESET North America that instructs San Diego high school students in IT infiltration methodology. A procurement services provider could contact enrolled students and offer them positions at companies in need of different cybersecurity approaches.
The aim of "Project Zero"
Hiring white-hat hackers to identify vulnerabilities is becoming a popular practice. According to Wired, Google security engineer Chris Evans has assembled a team of former cybercriminals in order to identify security faults in Internet-based software.
One of the team members, 17-year-old George Hotz, a hacker notorious for reverse-engineering the Playstation 3 and bypassing AT&T's lock on the iPhone in 2007, was awarded $150,000 by Google for helping the company solve the protection problems he exposed.
Organizations with stringent cybersecurity needs, such as health care companies, the Internal Revenue Service, investment agents and others should strongly consider hiring infiltration experts. The better businesses understand database and network vulnerabilities, the more comprehensive defense strategies will be.