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White hat hackers are the cyber superheroes we need, say experts

Cybersecurity is going to be one of the most hot and important topics during the year. And white hat hackers will play an important role, experts say.

Societies need to help and spot cyber talents and then motivate them to do good, instead of cyber crimes. The energy of such people must be channeled into helping, says security specialist Brian Krebs, quoted by ComputerWeek.

Krebs was at the Microsoft BlueHat IL cyber security conference in Tel Aviv. Microsoft aims to make tis invite-only conference a place where the top cyber security minds meet the industry and discuss the cyber threats.

Young, smart and ambitious

According to Krebs though, it’s not only the business. Modern societies as a whole have to become better at identifying talented young minds. He says he’s interviewed many teenage hackers and found some interesting connotations. Most young hackers come from privileged and wealthy families, he says.

The reason? Usually these kids spend less time with their parents and are practically raised by the internet. There it’s easy for them to find cyber crime forums, data, tutorials and get involved into hacking. Before long, they actually start earning more than their parents from their cyber crimes and further develop their talents for bad things.

“Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we live in the era of cyber supervillains,” said Krebs. “In today’s world, teens wield so much more power today than they once used to. They have a deep understanding of computers, networking and programming. Some are solving problems that companies don’t even know they had. However, left to their own devices, things can go terribly wrong,” he said.

How societies can help

He says that more than 90% of young hackers who are caught go back to hacking as soon as they have the chance. And it’s not only about the money. They get pretty much “addicted” to the challenge of pulling off more and more extreme hacks and want to feel that rush again and again. It’s exactly why societies need to help channeling that energy for good and foster white hat hackers. They shouldn’t simply condemn. Instead, they should help.

Such kids have to know they can tackle even greater and interesting challenges on the other side of the fence, too. They can help prevent huge catastrophes that go beyond data mining.  They can be the cyber superheroes.

And for the ones, that salary is also very important, more and more companies are starting to cater to that need, too. According to recruitment firm Robert Walters, IT security professionals will get the biggest raises this year averaging 8%. Junior information security analysts on the other hand would net an average of 15% increase.

This means you will earn more sooner, which should also help attract promising security talents to the good team. More companies are also starting to help train and develop security skills in their IT pros. Others are collaborating with universities and schools. Is it too late? The IT security is a bit behind as always, but it’s not late. It will always need the best talent and top skills to keep our cyber (and in many cases real) world safe.