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Protect Yourself From Hackers

Build the best defense you can against hackers.

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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Hacking isn't all bad. White-hat hacking, or ethical hacking, is becoming an important tool in the arsenals of business IT managers. Some are turning to ethical hacking classes to get up-to-date on the methods and exploits that could harm their networks. Gary Godwin, an IT manager for a small company in the Bay Area, signed up with Vigilar's Intense School, a provider of online and in-person IT classes. Now he's well on his way to becoming a certified ethical hacker.

Godwin describes the weeklong course, which he took online: "You try to find vulnerabilities and actually break into systems--with people's permission, of course. You're verifying that all the patches and all the measures taken to protect those systems are actually working." Training includes learning what tools hackers use and how they use them, the social engineering of hacking and the hacker mind-set. The lab portion of the class involves using hacking tools on test networks.

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