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Ethical Hacking – A different approach to tackle the hackers

Simon Monahan

Cyber-crime is constantly in the headlines and many businesses, especially SMEs, remain at risk from an attack. The average cost of an attack on a small business can be anything between £75,000 to £311,000.  Could one innovative solution be to get an expert to hack into your business’s systems? 

‘Ethical hacking’ is a safe and an extremely practical way of harmlessly compromising a company’s assets by highlighting a business’s weaknesses and threats to an attack.  It will give company directors the opportunity to improve and protect their business from the real hackers who are intent on causing damage.  

Russell Scanlan sees the value in ‘ethical hacking’ and has joined forces with Redscan, which provides these types of services, to help understand why and where businesses are exposed to hacking. 

We approached Simon Monahan, at Redscan, to explain more about this little understood concept and how it can help organisations in the long run.  It’s all about getting into the mindset of a hacker…

Understanding if your business is ready to stand up to the latest cyber threats is pivotal to putting in place an effective prevention strategy. Today’s determined cybercriminals will exploit even the tiniest of vulnerabilities to compromise your security, meaning regular assessment of infrastructure, people and processes is needed.

The problem is amplified by the fact that a typical organisation’s attack surface is growing.  With the majority of business today operating online using a broader range of devices, whilst storing information in the ‘cloud’, and trends leaning towards capturing more data, the risks are greater than ever.

Taking out a dedicated insurance policy to cover against cyber-attack is advisable but that’s just a small part of risk management. Effective defence is built upon a proactive prevention and detection strategy – we call this ‘ethical hacking’.

Redscan’s approach to cyber security is based upon adopting the mindset of the adversary. Our reputation is built on staying ahead of those instigating cyber-attacks. With continuously evolving threats, it is the collaborative approach of our ‘ethical hackers’ (known as white hats) and security analysts that drives our threat intelligence and allows us to retain our excellence in defending against the latest types of attack.

A problem for small and mid-sizes businesses is that they are increasingly being viewed a prime target by cyber criminals – not just because they often have weaker defences (because they invariably have less resources and tighter budgets than large enterprises), but also due to the fact they are sometimes seen as more innovative and a route to a bigger prize because of their place in a supply chain.

With the average cost of a cyber-attack on a small business standing between £75k – £311k – it is essential for organisations that lack in-house resources and expertise to gain an understanding of how well they are prepared to defend against attack and seriously consider what impact a potential attack could have on their business.

We operate two effective methods to identify company’s weaknesses – the first being CREST-approved penetration testing. These methods are designed to rigorously investigate a business network and infrastructure to identify security vulnerabilities. Using robust methodologies, we attempt to harmlessly compromise your assets and provide detailed reports that help you understand risk and take remediation action.

For businesses that want an in-depth assessment of their organisations defences beyond the standard remit, our second option offers a real-world simulated attack – a full-scope red teaming and ethical hacking solution designed to test the effectiveness of an organisation’s security processes, personnel and technology against sophisticated and targeted attacks.

Businesses that want to reduce their risk of being attacked can do a number of things to keep themselves protected such as securely configuring computer and network devices, restricting user access controls to authorised individuals, keeping software and application updated, and educating staff about password policy and cyber awareness.

For complete assurance and peace of mind however, it is important to seek external verification by enlisting the help of experienced security company to conduct in-depth investigation to identify any vulnerabilities that may still exist.

About Redscan

Redscan Cyber Security Ltd is a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) helping businesses of all sizes defend themselves against today’s increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. By utilising the latest technology and adopting the mind-set of the adversary, Redscan’s team of security specialists are expertly equipped to challenge the defences and incident response capabilities of any organisation. To learn more visit www.redscan.com/russellscanlan

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