Being a hacker can have two meanings: either you hack to inflict damage on people, or you hack to protect people from damage. Clearly, the title is about the latter vocation. If you know a little about cybersecurity, you must have heard of ethical hackers, like CEH professionals, who make a living by hacking people and organizations with the aim to strengthen their cybersecurity. But if you don’t know much about cybersecurity, then you have stumbled upon the apt post that aims to explain why cybersecurity and especially ethical hacking, is the need of the hour.
1. The internet is growing and so are the dangers
We are living in revolutionary times. The internet has proved to be an invention that has helped define the 21st century. Every minute, billions of people are using the internet for work, education, business, communication, entertainment, and so on. As of October 2020, 59 per cent of the planet’s population were active users of the internet and the numbers keep on growing. Thus, it comes back to the popular example: If a town’s population is on a rise, the crimes will simultaneously rise with it and that’s what’s happening with the worldwide web. The more reliant we become on computers, the more dangers we find lurking on every corner because let’s admit it: even criminals are dependent on the internet for their sketchy activities to various extents.
2. People are valuing privacy and security more than ever
This brings the discussion to this: we need more security and privacy. We are living in a world where the internet knows more about us than we do about ourselves. Our data can be used to predict our behavior and deliver targeted messages to us. Some data companies can guess our behavior more accurately than we can. And that is why privacy has become a central issue in the internet and tech debates all over the world. Security, on the other hand, is undebatable as a concern and is being demanded and prioritized more than ever by the common netizen. Whether it is data breaches or ransomware attacks, whether it is insider threats or AI fuzzing, there is no concern more pressing than cybersecurity in our digital-led world.
3. Cybersecurity is needed at a large scale
In such a tumultuous time, where there is a hacker attack every few seconds in the world, where billions and trillions of dollars are wasted in cyberattacks, where people’s very lives are put at risk due to cyber attacks, cybersecurity is the only true savior. When technology is innovated at a massive scale and technological solutions are created on a daily basis, security procedures need to be delivered at an equally massive scale on a constant basis as well. Left to its own devices, the internet will become a hub for crime and injustice with hackers sprawling at every turn, ready to infest the users’ devices with trojans, viruses, and other malicious software.
4. Ethical hackers are an indispensable part of the solution
Ethical hackers are the antidote to criminal hackers. They know the language of black hat hackers (another name for malicious hackers) and use their ethical hacking training to beat the criminals at their own game. Though they don’t directly deal with the criminals, they use the same techniques used by such criminals to protect their subjects from future attacks. The internet is constantly changing and expanding to an extent, that when a cyber-attack hits, the concerned target has little to no time to defend all its forts, which is why offensive security is as important as defensive security. Ethical hackers specialize in offensive security and help an organization to identify its weaknesses by performing an authorized cyber attack. Needless to say, there is no true cybersecurity without ethical hackers, just like there is no true online privacy without cybersecurity.