CyberWhite, a North East based cybersecurity specialist, is encouraging businesses to start the new year emulating a government initiative to give a team of ‘ethical hackers’ the run of Ministry of Defence (MOD) computer systems to find potential weaknesses and threats.
The bug bounty programme will give 26 hackers access to the MOD systems for 30 days to identify areas that might be vulnerable to potential threats from cybercriminals.
CyberWhite has suggested that businesses in the North East could adopt a similar approach, enlisting a cybersecurity specialist to ‘hack’ their own systems to see how easy or difficult it is to access their data.
Businesses could use the exercise to establish the strength of their passwords, whether sensitive documents can be accessed by outside parties, and a company’s vulnerability to viruses.
Matt Hewison, director at CyberWhite, said: “The new year is the perfect time to test your current systems and implement any changes you need to ensure your security.
“The MOD has the right idea, getting ethical hackers to have free rein of the system to really try and flush out the bugs and make sure its cyber safe.
“I would encourage local businesses to follow their lead and get their own army of ethical hackers to check exactly how vulnerable their systems are and help them work out how to resolve these issues.”
David Horn, director at CyberWhite, added: “Many business owners are worried about whether their systems are under threat, particularly with the increase in visibility of scammers, and we’ve spoken to a number of people who want peace of mind about the security of their data.
“The MOD are setting a great example in admitting they may have bugs in the system and nipping these problems in the bud. If all businesses did the same, cybercrime would be a thing of the past.”