The Need for the Hacker Mindset

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Adam Burnham

By Patrick Gilmore

Security is on everyone’s mind these days – with the recent reports of data breaches at JP Morgan, Home Depot and even Apple’s iCloud – the significance of securing customer data and your company’s critical information has never seemed more important.

In any business where data and information is important (which is every business these days) security has become job #1. C-level executives and Boards of Directors are more educated than ever, demanding that their companies be up to the task.

If your business experiences a network failure, it's not fatal to the company and you can quickly recover. Making people wait an extra 30 seconds or so is not great for business (and you might upset some customers), but it’s a situation that can be fixed.

As seen in the recent headlines, however, if your data is stolen or your network compromised, it can be very difficult and expensive to recover from – both in terms of investing in new technology and working to win back customer trust.

Companies need to focus on security and building in strong protections for all company and customer data and information. To be successful, though, a different mindset is needed – the hacker mindset. For years, companies have defended their turf and focused their efforts on stopping intrusions. While that strategy is still important, today’s world of highly trained cybercriminals requires that companies not simply play defense. You need to think like an attacker, like a hacker.

A portion of your security efforts should focus on offense: how is my network vulnerable? How could a cybercriminal access the data in my system?  Test your network and try to break it. Try unconventional methods that don’t seem to be the obvious choice. Look at outlying parts of the network that might allow a doorway into the system. In short, think differently than you may have been taught in the past.

In doing so, you have a much better chance of finding any vulnerabilities and shoring them up from outside attack. The old adage rings true again: the best defense is a good offense.

Here at the Markley Group, we’ve always been dedicated to protecting our clients’ critical data and information with the highest level of security possible. To learn more about how our colocation and cloud computing services can help your company, contact us here: sales@markleycloud.com.