Companies hire hackers to make more secure systems. Hackers identify weak points in firewalls and systems that other hackers would otherwise exploit. This gives companies an edge and lets them shore up areas vulnerable to data breaches.
Example of Hacker Hired by a Large Company
Companies that hire a hacker believe that it takes a thief to catch a thief. Former criminal hackers like Kevin Mitnick, who as imprisoned five years for his hacking exploits, have started their own cyber security companies. Hacking brings with it a certain knowledge set that traditional education doesn’t supply. Many companies believe they need this skill set to protect the customers and business data.
Black hat hackers aren’t the only ones being hired for their deep knowledge of hacking skills. Governments and businesses are now hiring so-called white hat hackers, ethical hackers that strive to help companies create secure systems protected from bad actors.
The Dearth of Cyber Security Professionals
Besides their experience infiltrating networks, white hat and gray hat hackers have job security for another reason — there simply aren’t enough cyber security professionals to go around. More and more universities are creating programs specifically geared toward producing qualified cyber security professionals. Companies probably welcome these programs, especially with the number of data breaches constantly on the rise.
Many of those who apply for cyber security jobs lack the experience needed to adequately protect a company’s data. This leaves them scrambling to hire H-1B workers from other countries, where the skill set is more prevalent, and applicants are highly motivated to succeed.
Until the pool of candidates for cyber security jobs grows, companies may have no choice but to hire hackers to fill in the gaps. Even after students get a cyber security or hacking degree, they need real-world experience to be useful.
The Future of White Hat Hacking
There are many specialties within the field of cyber security, but qualified security officers need to at least be able to think like hackers. Until their of enough of these professionals, hackers are likely to play a role in this field for the foreseeable future.