Kevin Mitnick is considered one of the best hackers in the world, but what kind of hacker is he? Formerly on the FBI's most-wanted list for his pranks and antics, Kevin is now a famous white hat hacker and leader of the Global Ghost Team.
Although there are several types of hackers, there are two main types every business owner should know: white hat hackers and black hat hackers. White hat hackers use their skills to help organizations while black hat hackers use their skills to harm them.
Here, we’ll take a deeper look into white hat hacking, Kevin Mitnick, and how he uses his hacking skills for the betterment of organizations worldwide.
White Hat Hacking Defined
A white hat — or ethical hacker — is a trained cybersecurity professional whose goal is to find vulnerabilities within an organization’s systems in an effort to help that organization defend itself against a nefarious black hat — or threat actor — attack.
For example, a white hat security hacker could be a penetration tester who is hired by an organization to assure that all cyber security weaknesses were identified and resolved following a data breach.
Pros of White Hat Hackers
For many organizations, hiring a white hat hacker to test their systems is a crucial component of a strong cybersecurity plan.
The benefits of hiring a white hat hacker to analyze and test your systems may include:
- You’ll get what you pay for. A top cybersecurity expert has the training and experience to find weaknesses in your system that vulnerability scans may miss. Since a real cyberattack costs companies $200,000 on average, hiring a white hat hacker can be cheaper than putting your company at risk of a data breach.
- Ethical hacking. When you hire a white hat hacker, their end-game matches your own: better security for your organization. They follow ethical guidelines to ensure that your company’s data remains safe.
- A tried and tested process. A white hat security hacker or team of white hat hackers has the tools and techniques needed to carry out the testing of your systems with utmost accuracy. The most famous white hat hackers — like the Global Ghost Team — will tailor their pentest framework and other processes to the individual needs of your company.
Cons of White Hat Hackers
Hiring a white hat hacker to test your organization’s security systems could be the best option. However, it’s important to research your options before making a decisions about protecting your organization from threats.
Disadvantages of hiring a white hat hacker may include:
- The possibility of downtime for your systems. While white hat hackers are testing your systems, you may need to pause your daily operations until some or all of the testing is complete.
- It may be more expensive than buying Network Security Assessment Software (NSAS). Although security programs only provide surface-level scans, most are cheaper than hiring a white hat hacker.
- You may have accidentally hired a black hat or grey hat hacker. Without properly vetting a team of cybersecurity experts, there is a chance that you are hiring someone who doesn’t have your organization’s best interests in mind.
All things considered, hiring an experienced white hat hacker is a proven method to help protect businesses from threat actors. However, hiring one of the most famous white hat hackers out there can also help build — or rebuild — your organization's reputation within the industry.
Kevin Mitnick and White Hat Hacking
Decades ago, Kevin Mitnick was tried for cybercrimes that involved breaching the security systems of well-known organizations. The public felt that Kevin’s case was treated too harshly since Kevin never sold company data or otherwise harmed these organizations. This led to the Free Kevin movement in which individuals showed support in the form of parades, written articles, and more.
After a reformed Kevin was released from prison, he sought to protect organizations and destigmatize the term “hacker” to help revolutionize the cybersecurity industry.
Kevin is now a published author and trusted cybersecurity expert who leads the Global Ghost Team, which provides penetration testing and other services to organizations across the globe.
As a famous white hat hacker, Kevin also works with leading law firms as an expert cybersecurity witness for cases involving cybercrime. with a focus on class action lawsuits involving data breaches. Known as a captivating speaker, Kevin performs live hacking demonstrations as part of security awareness training for many organizations. Kevin is just as entertaining in person as he is virtually, making him a popular choice as a keynote speaker for virtual events.
The Power of Ethical Hacking
Ethical hackers can find vulnerabilities within an organization before the threat actors do, allowing businesses to proactively strengthen their cybersecurity posture. When paired with routine vulnerability assessments, white hat hacking — such as penetration testing — can save an organization from becoming another data breach headline.
Kevin Mitnick works hard to protect organizations through a variety of cybersecurity services. From fresh content to free security training tools, discover how a Kevin Mitnick virtual event can protect your organization today.