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Who are the Hackers? A Phoenix IT Support Company Explains

Who are the Hackers? A Phoenix IT Support Company Explains

Phoenix IT Support Company MyTek Network Solutions Protects Arizona Businesses from Hackers

It doesn’t matter how much of a technology novice someone is, chances are, they’ve heard the term “hacker” before. If there's one thing that can keep a business owner up at night, it's the consequences that a hacker can wreak on businesses with outdated technology.  Phoenix IT companies are familiar with that desperate call

"Help! I think we've been hacked! What should I do now?" If that's you right now, we are sorry.  You may have taken a gamble intentionally and delayed hiring a Phoenix IT support company or maybe you just never go around to putting together a robust business design for your IT system. If you have personally experienced loss from a hacker or not, it pays to understand who these guys are and how to avoid a hijack.  Phoenix technology companies like MyTek Network Solutions have expertise that helps protect you from all types of cybercriminal attacks, including ransomware. A favorite character trope of Hollywood films and television dramas, these cybercriminals have appeared in productions like Die Hard and Mr. Robot with varying degrees of accuracy. Below, we explore what makes a hacker,  the kinds that exist in reality and how partnering with a local Phoenix IT support company protects you.

What Makes a Hacker?
A hacker is an individual or group that, using their programming skills, finds a way into systems by identifying and exploiting gaps in the security protocols protecting them. That said, should we always be afraid of them? If the door to your house is unlocked, it's not a matter of if, but when someone without authorization walks in. They may or may not steal something, but what company wants to risk it?

There are three overarching delineations that a hacker can fall into, as well as different subtypes that they could be classified into, based on their motives and modus operandi. Phoenix IT companies work to stay ahead of all types of hackers to keep Arizona companies protected.

The Three Main Types
Black Hat
These are the hackers that most likely first pop into your mind. Using their skills to steal the information they want from their victims or to manipulate their victims into paying them, black hat hackers are the criminals that give the term “hacking” the reputation it has today. Their work is for their own personal gain, illegal, and usually results in the harm of others. These hackers know your business intelligence is your data and unprotected companies will pay when ransomware holds them hostage. MyTek stands out from other Phoenix technology companies with a Unified Threat Management approach to security that keeps you from being in the uncomfortable position of deciding if you want to pay these bad guys or not.

White Hat
On the side of the angels, you’ll find white hat hackers. These hackers use their skills to assist businesses and other entities in identifying weak points and vulnerabilities in their IT systems so that these weaknesses can be resolved. When a Phoenix IT support company like MyTek runs a penetration test to see what they can access without permission, they are acting as white hat hackers. A white hat hacker works for your benefit, and exclusively at your request - they do not hack into systems unless it is requested of them. When you ask local Phoenix technology companies to test your security - you might be shocked to find out how many minutes it takes them to get to vital company information. You're likely to be ready for security services including a network security management plan after this basic test.

Gray Hat
As one might imagine based on their name, gray hat hackers are those hackers who are a little white hat and a little black hat. They aren’t entirely black hat, because they aren’t personally profiting from the hack, but they aren’t quite white hat either, because they are hacking without the target’s consent or knowledge. Some grey hat hackers will inform an organization of their vulnerability, while others will enable others to leverage it by leaking it over the Internet. At the end of the day, its unauthorized access to your system - something that Phoenix IT companies should never allow.

Subtypes of Hackers that Phoenix IT Companies Face

Script Kiddies Hackers
Script kiddies are very amateur hackers, in that they don’t care to learn how or why the codes they use work. Instead, they leverage the code that has been written by others to launch basic attacks, often to draw attention to themselves or to impress their peers.

Blue Hat Hackers
A blue hat hacker can be summed up as a script kiddie with an ax to grind. Rather than trying to impress others by launching basic cyber attacks, blue hat hackers are out for revenge against those who have angered them. Again, these hackers don’t want to learn how actually to hack, they merely want to strike back.

Green Hat Hackers
Another variation of a script kiddie, green hat hackers are the field’s equivalent of a greenhorn - new and inexperienced, but ready to learn. Green hat hackers are those that grow and become better over time and are known to ask a lot of questions among hacking communities.

Red Hat Hackers
These hackers are effectively the vigilantes of the hacking world, striving toward a similar goal as a white hat hacker would but taking a much different approach. Rather than reporting an attack, a red hat hacker will go on the counteroffensive and give their black hat target a taste of their own medicine.  A red hat hacker aims to hamstring their target’s computing ability by using cyber attacks and malware as their tools of choice.

State-Sponsored Hackers
These hackers are those that are employed by a government body to obtain information that is valuable to the state. They have been known to attack entire nations, key individuals, and companies. Thanks to their government affiliation, they have considerable resources available to them.

Hacktivist Hackers
Hacktivists and hacktivist groups use their hacking skills to spread their message, creating trouble for businesses, government bodies, and other entities that don’t share their beliefs. These online activists are committed to creating social change. They hack anyone who has a platform to get their message out.

Whistleblower/Malicious Insider Hackers
These hackers are those that may not require any advanced hacking skills at all, instead relying on their position within the targeted company to steal trade secrets. Whether they are acting on behalf of a rival company, or they have merely developed a grudge, these are employees who are seeking out the worst for your organization.

Hackers Changing Hats
Of course, hackers don’t always keep to one hat. There are a few examples of those who have moved from black hat to gray, one of which being Samy Kamkar. After hacking (and crashing) MySpace with the fastest-spreading worm to date at age 19 (in 2005), he was arrested and ultimately given a lifetime ban from the Internet. After three years of good behavior, his sentence was lifted, and Kamkar now works as a gray hat hacker, independently finding vulnerabilities and reporting them.

On the other hand (and providing an example of how convoluted these issues can get), Marcus “MalwareTech” Hutchins was praised in May of 2017 for effectively stopping the WannaCry attack but was later arrested in August of 2017 for allegedly writing and distributing the banking Trojan known as Kronos. While Hutchins was apparently working as a white hat hacker during his work on WannaCry, it is entirely possible he was acting as a gray hat hacker to create Kronos for someone else to use.

Get Protection from Hackers by Partnering with a Phoenix IT Support Company

Phoenix technology companies should be able to both protect from hackers and remediate the damage. No matter what the motivation or type of hackers, businesses need a strategic plan to lock the door to your network, know when they are knocking and mitigate damage if they happen to get in. A comprehensive protection plan will include strategies to keep your employees from being tricked into opening the door for these evil characters as well.

In short, there are many different kinds of hackers, and the lines between them can be pretty easily blurred. When you are researching Phoenix IT companies to secure your network, ask them about how they protect from hackers. MyTek is an expert in providing security strategy and technology as well as in educating customers. Check out  Understanding Network Security and Understanding Ransomware for more information or contact us for your "white hat" evaluation and protection plan.

For a complimentary on-site consultation  (a $500 value), sign up HERE- we'd love to help!

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