Would you recruit an ex-hacker? Most IT professionals would

A survey conducted by IT recruitment specialists CWJobs.co.uk shows that 70% of IT professionals believe that hiring ex-hackers could be the solution to security problems. After all, who better to protect against intrusions than the people who do it daily?

The most high-profile case in my recent knowledge was that of infamous iOS “Jailbreaker” and PlayStation hacker GeoHot; who was snapped-up by social networking giant Facebook not long after an intense lawsuit by Sony.

Whilst the most common saying is “the enemy of your enemy is your friend” directly seeking help from your enemy is risky business – can you trust this person not to perform malicious tasks (now) internally?

Despite many recent security breaches – including Sony, who recently had their PlayStation Network servers taken offline for an entire month – 56% of IT Professionals believe businesses are not taking security seriously enough.

In such a connected world; where services and even physical objects are now being connected to the internet – this is a worrying statistic. Yet 4 in 10 of those surveyed; don’t believe that there are currently enough skilled security professionals in the UK technology industry that are able to take on the challenges of constantly evolving threats.

Different industries have various levels of expectancy around security; the military is by far the biggest and most worrying potential of abuse for lack of, and banking is another prime example.

In the UK, Spanish high-street bank Santander has been ranked as having the lowest security by consumer group ‘Which?’ after an investigation which includes; safety when logging in, changing account details or transferring cash.

“These findings present an interesting tactic for those keen to find new ways to meet the demand for security professionals within their organisations – though perhaps one that should be treated with some caution.” - said Richard Nott, Website Director, CWJobs.co.uk

He continues: “What is clear though is that cyber threats are growing and evolving on an almost daily basis, so having skilled candidates who understand and can navigate this environment to protect the business is now crucial.”

What do you think about the results of this survey, and hiring ex-hackers for security purposes?

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29 Sep 2013, 7:03 p.m.

Cybercrime is a threat to national security and we need to be taking a more proactive approach to protect citizens.
Than Nguyen