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How Can Ethical Hacking Drive Cybersecurity in India Cybersecurity threats are pervasive in each aspect of today's business environment. Hence information security must be at the core of each system design for successful functioning of an enterprise

By Remesh Ramachandran

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India is an emerging country expanding its hands to embrace the digital technological advancements. As the employment rate is expected to go higher and plenty of new opportunities and career options to choose from. But there are few career options which are booming, one among them is "Ethical hacking', also commonly known as "Penetration testing' or "Pen testing' in short.

Hacking is a term which needs less explanation, but ethical hacking is performed to protect the business and suspect any breaches and vulnerabilities.

Ethical Hackers legitimately break into the system of any Organization with their approval as proper authorisation given by the enterprise and investigate any data breaches occurred or finding out potential system vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a hacker to adversely impact the organisation resulting in loss of reputation, finances and regulatory fines. Therefore, they detect the threats and potential vulnerabilities in advance and help protect the system to avoid data thefts, cybercrimes and other malicious activities.

How Ethical Hacking Plays An Important Role is Your Business?

This is the age of digital transformation and businesses are going online at speed never witnessed before. The one who has the right information at the right time has a first mover advantage.

A compromise of confidentiality, integrity or availability of information can result in unthinkable repercussions to business. It is evident that your business objectives are closely tied to your information security objectives. In recent times, we have seen several cases where reputable companies had their systems hacked leading to sensitive & confidential data being compromised.

Have a look at following stats:

· An attack on Yahoo (2013-2014) leading to over a billion accounts being compromised and losses of several hundred million dollars.

· Cyber attack on Marriott International. 500 million customers affected. (2013-2018)

· Attacks on eBay (2014), Equifax (2017), Target Stores (2013), Uber (2016).

· Wipro's data breach (2019) and more.

These incidents are an example of how valuable how a data breach can cause tremendous loss of reputation, financial losses, and regulatory fines and to the extent that companies lose valued customers and in extreme cases, might have to shut down operations entirely.

So if you're a business owner or an entrepreneur who is just starting up his business, this is the right time to think of future challenges to information systems. This will also help in planning to prevent such devastating setbacks to your company by using ethical hacking (it could be in the form of vulnerability assessments, penetration testing etc. )to find and rectify vulnerabilities in your information systems.

Top 6 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs & SMBs must consider Hiring An Ethical Hacking Firm?

Building secure information systems and applications in the age of digital transformation are the key to achieving a business objective, and it can save you from a ton of easily preventable breaches in the future. few reasons you need the help of ethical hackers are:

· A Need for Specialised and Dedicated Security Services- Specialisation is required for almost every valuable service in the world, and the situation is no different in the field of cybersecurity. Typical software engineers are not cybersecurity experts and shouldn't be expected to provide the same services as security professionals.

· Technologies are Changing at an Exponential Pace- Only dedicated experts can be expected to keep up with the rapidly evolving scenarios and related security necessities the tech world presents.

· Hackers are More Motivated to Compromise Systems That Companies are to Keep Them Safe- This incentive mismatch leads to hackers innovating continuously to find vulnerabilities.

· If a System is in use, it can be Hacked- The sad reality of today's world is that there is no such thing as a completely secure system, but ethical hackers can help you reach highly adequate levels of security.

· Educational Institutions Teach Programmers to Code, But They Rarely Teach Them to Code securely- This paucity of education shows up in insecure code which is vulnerable to hacking attempts.

· Gaining the trust of Customers When it Comes to Their Data- Customer satisfaction will provide you with brand loyalty which will translate into greater success.

Ethical hacking thus helps you stay prepared for the worst by employing various tools such as security audits and infrastructure penetration testing among others.

It makes systems secure which in turn drives cybersecurity.

Tope 5Domains Where Ethical Hacking Can Drive Cyber Security Of SMBs(Small & Medium Businesses)&Entrepreneurial Businesses In India

  • Infrastructure Penetration Testing- This refers to an attempt to test the level of security of your technological infrastructure. It is carried out by exploiting vulnerabilities in O.S, applications and services, configurations and other known methods used to attack systems.

  • Web Applications Penetration Testing- It is similar to Infrastructure penetration testing but is carried out for web applications.

  • Security Audits- These are regular audits which help you identify the most prominent risks your organisation might face.

  • Reconnaissance- This involves gathering information about the network, host and organisation.

  • Scanning- It is different from a reconnaissance or the surveillance that it is the next step after reconnaissance is complete. It involves port scanning, banner grabbing and live host checking.

Repercussions of Not Penetration Testing Enterprise Systems

Entrepreneurs Or SMBs may have to face many challenges if their IT infrastructure or websites are not penetration tested such as:

  • Costly breaches in security- Direct & Indirect.

  • Service Interruptions &resulting downtime.

  • Fines for not meeting requirements set down by the regulators.

  • Litigation and lawsuits which can bog a new business down.

  • Loss of consumer trust and brand image.

We conclude by saying that ethical hacking can prove to be of immense value to your organisation and not ignoring this aspect of your business is one of the best decisions you could take for the future of your firm.

Remesh Ramachandran

CISO | Security Researcher | Ethical hacker

Remesh Ramachandran is an ethical hacker. He has solved several sophisticated cybercrime and real-world hacking cases, and has worked for the government and various other national and international agencies. Remesh is currently working as a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) for an organisation.

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