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This article was co-written by Kris Lahiri, Data Protection Officer and Dawid Balut, Egnyte Architect.

Businesses test for network vulnerabilities in many different ways and the public’s opinion of good-guy hackers greatly depends on the companies that hire them.

Large companies like Google and Microsoft can afford to hire many highly-skilled security professionals, like white hat hackers, who are capable of resisting malicious (black hat) hackers. White hat hackers help create multi-layered defenses to protect company data, often revealing unknown security holes. White hat hackers ensure sensitive data isn’t compromised, even during a breach and are almost always open to sharing knowledge that can help others. Malicious attackers only need to find one security hole to gain system access, so it’s important to employ professionals who know what to look for.

However, many businesses cannot afford to invest in advanced security practices, let alone hire hackers. Without enough good hackers, companies are especially susceptible to new threats because they’re constantly evolving. Sometimes, even if a company’s internal security team has discovered a vulnerability, they don’t have enough resources to fix it. Hopefully, the GDPR will push more companies to invest in their security departments, so customer safety and online data privacy are protected.

In general, it’s more important to continue the fight than it is to win the war. Good security is about slowing down attackers and minimizing the damage they can do because threats will always exist.

Due to the ever-changing nature of data security, it’s essential to research new ways to remain effective and white hat hackers may offer valuable/relevant insight. Overall, it’s safe to trust good-guy hackers as long as they have referrals and some experience working for reputable companies.

In the past decade, there have been so many data leaks from various companies. For example, the service Have I Been Pwned: Check if your email has been compromised in a data breach collected information on over 5,001,066,474 hacked accounts. Yes, five billion accounts have been compromised and in order to avoid future mistakes, we must follow the companies that proactively fortify their security systems.

Learn More about GDPR and see how Egnyte can help you meet compliance.