Ethical hacking or so–called white hacking is hacking a system in order to identify flaws in its security for their subsequent correction. As a rule, organizations that want to find gaps in their corporate networks and devices resort to it. However, this is only one “plus” of ethical hacking. Among other things, ethical hacking helps in training new information security personnel and improving the skills of those who are already in the ranks.
According to Joseph Carson, a senior researcher at Delinea, specializing in PAM solutions, the search for new ways of learning, in addition to university education and self-education, is one of the most difficult tasks in the field of training information security specialists. The problem is, Carson believes, that textbooks and manuals on cybersecurity become obsolete almost immediately.
New technologies with unique security mechanisms are constantly emerging, and the number of cybercriminals continues to grow, moreover, they are becoming more dangerous. Therefore, it is very important for information security specialists to constantly study and improve their skills. Computer games can come to the rescue here, Carson believes.
Gamification of ethical hacking programs and software will help organizations keep their IT and information security teams in shape so that they can respond quickly and effectively to potential threats. Gamified platforms are interactive and provide participants with tasks that require non-standard thinking to solve. By learning through trial and error, users of such platforms gain more skills than those who, say, study textbooks and then answer questions about the material they have passed.
One of the huge advantages of gamified hacking platforms is the ability to improve skills in certain areas. For example, organizations can plan training tasks in areas such as incident response, privilege escalation on Windows systems, cloud security, etc.
While organizations are gradually switching to using gamified platforms to improve the skills of their information security specialists, hacking is turning into a kind of esports.
Online gamers and streamers on platforms like YouTube have become a global phenomenon, and their audience is eager to know their secret techniques and capabilities that allow them to move to a new level.
The popularity of gamers is growing, and the top of them earn millions on commissions and sponsorship. The same thing happens with hacking. Some popular hackers began streaming their skills online, demonstrating new techniques and methods of bypassing security, obtaining initial access and increasing privileges.
Hackers also compete with each other on interactive platforms, trying to get L33T status and get to the top of the leaderboards. This is a new trend that will continue this year, Carson is sure. It is possible that eventually hacking will become a kind of sport, and people will pay money to watch the competitions.