Small firms advised to hunt out hackers’ help

SMB owners and managers should hire so-called ‘ethical hackers’, either as part of their in-house IT teams or on a freelance basis - in order to safeguard their data, according to Sanjay Bavisi, president of the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC Council).

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By  Matthew Wade Published  December 19, 2006

SMB owners and managers should hire so-called ‘ethical hackers’, either as part of their in-house IT teams or on a freelance basis - in order to safeguard their data, according to Sanjay Bavisi, president of the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC Council). Speaking to Windows Middle East during last week's Hacker Halted conference in Dubai, Bavisi claimed such a move was well worth the outlay, whatever the size of business. “It’s not very expensive to hire a guy who’s a certified hacker. The training is just a couple of thousand dollars,” he explained. “Some managers come back to me and say, “What happens if I hire and train them and they leave?” I answer by asking. “What if you hire them and don't train them and they stay?” They’ll cause more harm.” Although a now relatively accepted IT discipline in the United States, ethical hacking - in other words, hacking with good intentions rather than an evildoer breaking into a network - is a relatively new concept to managers in the Middle East. “We’ve been here direct in the Middle East for the past two years and have several centres in this area, but there’s lots of work to be done before ethical hacking is accepted as a daily part of life, before people aren’t asking questions about whether they can trust such employees,” said Bavisi. Bavisi went to on to add that smaller companies such as those with 20 or 30 staff should recruit IT staff very carefully and treat them with the utmost of respect. “The world has evolved to the level where it’s very important that IT administrators for such business are hired very carefully,” he stated. “Gone are the days in which you could just set a salary and the best looking guy or girl could get the job; now it’s really important that they - SMBs - enforce all the terms of condition of employment.”

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