While the technology that furthers the growth and success of our businesses has evolved rapidly in the last few decades, so has the techniques of cybercriminals. The increasing complexity of hackers’ methods, as well as the vulnerabilities that come with modern technology, mean it’s more important than ever to protect yourself.
But did you know that hackers come in all shapes and sizes? Some are even hired to track down and put a stop to malicious criminal activity.
Hackers typically fall into three main categories: White hat hackers, black hat hackers, and gray hat hackers, but there are also script kiddies, green hat hackers, and red hat hackers. Here’s how to identify them.
White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers are also known as ethical or authorized hackers. They are typically hired by corporations or larger organizations that need a security assessment. Their expertise in the world of cybersecurity gives them the ability to find loopholes and gaps in systems looking to better their protection.
Because white hat hackers work with permission from the owner of the systems, what they do is legal. It’s also quite helpful since white hat hackers can shine a light on vulnerabilities that could be exploited by darker forces later on, and offer solutions.
Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers, also known as criminal hackers, are what we tend to think of when we think of cybersecurity threats.
While they’re also skilled in cybersecurity like white hat hackers, they tend to abuse this power for malicious gains. These hackers do not have permission from system owners and gain unauthorized entry into systems.
Black hat hackers can steal personal and financial data and sensitive information from businesses and individuals and then sell it to a third party or use blackmail for their own personal gain.
[Related: Six Signs Your Business Has Been Hacked]
Gray Hat Hackers
As the name suggests, gray hat hackers work in a sort of “gray area” between helpful and malicious intent. They hack systems without permission, many times for personal gain or to expose a company’s poor security practices.
Gray hat hackers enjoy manipulating systems to find loopholes and vulnerabilities, but unlike black hat hackers, they aren’t out to blackmail or intentionally harm anyone.
Although the aforementioned hackers are the three main types, several other types of hackers exist under a variety of names.
Script kiddies are amateur hackers. These hackers are just starting out learning the tricks of the trade, but aren’t that committed to learning the “right” way. They tend to copy scripts and malware off of more established hackers in the field.
Since they lack skills they tend to cause more disruption and chaos, without actually benefiting anyone, much less themselves.
Script Kiddies typically target organizations and businesses with unsecured networks and poor security.
Green Hat Hackers
Green hat hackers are similar to script kiddies in that they are hackers-in-training. However, green hat hackers are more focused on taking the necessary steps to increase and develop their cyberattack skills before actually putting anything into action. They look to more established hackers for mentorship and find every opportunity to gain black hat knowledge.
Red Hat Hackers
Hired by the government, red hat hackers often utilize the same tactics as black hat hackers. They use these tactics to find them and prevent them from causing their attacks.
Red hat hackers will often use the same malware, viruses, and other ruthless strategies in order to find and disarm black hat hackers.
Protect Your Business with CMIT Solutions
Regardless of what type they are, in most cases hackers are something you and your business want to avoid. Invest in managed IT that can monitor your network 24/7 and protect your business from devastating cyberattacks by hackers.
CMIT Solutions of Bothell has years of experience supporting small and mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries with their cybersecurity needs. Our managed IT services include cloud hosting, data protection and backup, network security, system monitoring and more.
Contact us today and let’s get a plan in place to secure your business’s success and cyber safety.
Featured image via Pixabay