The critical role of white hat hacking in financial institutions

white hat hacking

Ethical hacking is the art and science of securing digital systems from cyber attacks by attempting to breach into them in order to identify and fix vulnerabilities. But how do ethical hackers keep our financial system safe and why are they necessary in its smooth functioning? This article aims to highlight the significance of white hat hacking in the working of our economy’s biggest facet: finance.

What is the role of financial sectors in our economy?

Finance fuels our society. Without this, we would not be able to trade, deal or exchange goods and services with each other. Banking and finance institutions need to function without interruption in order to keep the world running every single day. In the absence of these systems, economic activities will come to a halt. All the functions of our society depend on finance as if it is the very backbone holding everything together.

How has the internet changed banking?

Thanks to the growth of Information Technology, the architecture of financial systems has been transformed over the years for our convenience. Cashless economies are heavily promoted today as the internet & mobile banking becomes the new mode of daily payments. After all, who doesn’t love one-click transactions? Mobile wallets, scanning QR codes to pay, applying for loans from your phone, checking your balance with one click, and even opening a fixed deposit account from the comfort of your home, all these features have made banking easier, time-saving, and more economical than ever. But all these advancements come at a cost. And the cost, in this case, is an increased risk of theft.

How does hacking affect the financial sector in a negative way?

It is no well-kept secret that financial gains are one of the major motivators behind any crime, whether cyber or not. Thus, financial systems are also one of the worst-hit by such attacks. Be it hacking an ATM machine, or stealing the internet banking credentials of innocent customers, we hear stories of duping every other day in the news. Phishing is one of the most notorious and widespread cyber threats ever to infest the digital world. Since digitization and electronic banking have arrived at our doors, the world has witnessed a sharp spike in cyber attacks in the Banking and Finance sector.

How does hacking affect the financial sector in a positive way?

So, how do cybersecurity experts with ethical hacking training, help secure our money? Well, it’s not rocket science. Ethical hackers are those professionals who are permitted by organizations to breach their systems. They think like black hat hackers and act like them. They use the same tools, methodologies, and tricks used by the most notorious hackers of the dark web. The only difference: their intention is good. Ethical hackers don’t actually infect the system but report back to the organization with all the discovered bugs and problems that could lead to a cyber attack in the future.

One of the most famous ethical hacking certifications, i.e. CEH, trains people in this crucial skill and is now in huge demand all over the world by employers of all sectors, especially those hailing from banking and finance. In reality, no sector or industry is safe from cyber-attacks, but there are a few select sectors that receive most of the wrath of criminal hackers. Surveys have shown that financial institutions have to tackle cybercrime with a frequency that is 300 times higher than in other sectors. Hence, ethical hackers are nothing less than protectors of our crucial monetary systems without whom these institutions would be hacked and misused every single day and our hard-earned money would be left at the mercy of unchecked criminal activities.

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