Hacking and data breaches have become a huge source of concern for businesses around the world in recent years. Many organizations have already experienced cybercrime: A 2017 survey of business executives released by Munich Re found that 53% of U.S. businesses had suffered a cyberattack in the past year.
If you haven’t gotten hacked already, odds are good that you will one day soon. Cybercriminals don’t care how big or small your business is if they can make money somehow by stealing your data.
“Ignore the stereotype of sophisticated cybercriminals targeting billion-dollar businesses,” Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations report states. “Most attacks are opportunistic and target not the wealthy or famous, but the unprepared.”
As you take steps to protect your business from evolving cybersecurity threats and guard against hacking, you might wonder who these people are who are scheming to infiltrate your systems and get their hands on your data. The hacker population is, in fact, diverse, and there’s a wide range of reasons why an individual might turn to cybercrime.
However, there are some common types of hackers out there that businesses looking to take proactive action against data breaches should know about. Here’s a quick overview of some of the main categories. Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
1. Black Hats. These are the hackers who create malware and are mainly motivated by the desire for financial and/or personal gain, according to Symantec. Basically, they’re the typical “bad guys” you might imagine when you hear the term “cybercriminals.”
2. White Hats. Not all hackers are criminals, however. White hats use their powers for good by working as security researchers and notifying vendors/companies when they find vulnerabilities so they can patch the weak points, according to Wired.
3. Gray Hats. These hackers are a mix between white hats and black hats. They might sell vulnerabilities they discover to the government and other agencies that will presumably use the knowledge for a good purpose (e.g., pursuing criminals), Wired states. However, some governments use the info gray hats sell them for more nefarious activities (e.g., spying on political rivals).
A gray hat hacker doesn’t have the malicious intent of a black hat, according to Symantec. However, they aren’t ethical enough in their actions to be white hats. They’ll typically look for vulnerabilities without a system owner’s permission, for instance.
4. Hacktivists. A hacktivist wants to send a social or political message by breaking into a website or network, according to Technopedia. Their goal might be to expose wrongdoing or get revenge on their target.
5. State-sponsored hackers. Government agencies around the world have realized the value of hacking as a tool to control the internet and take down their rivals, according to McAfee. State-sponsored hackers receive government funding to go after other governments, civilians, and corporations.
Luckily, with the right IT security solutions and services, you can minimize the risk that hackers of any type will break into your system. Our team of tech experts can answer any questions you might have about cybersecurity and help your business find solutions that meet your unique needs. Contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.