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News

Vulnerability Management Program Includes Ethical Hacking

Guidance Consulting : 02 March, 2010  (New Product)
Penetration Testing services offered by Guidance Consulting to enable companies to assess the vulnerabilities of their IT networks
Georgia-based IT support firm Guidance Consulting is rolling out a new Vulnerability Management Program that focuses on approaching information security from all angles. In today's business climate, this includes an "ethical hacking" approach that simulates the criminal activities of today's biggest threats.


Even though hacking is one of those words that has negative connotations almost all the way around, the IT experts at Guidance Consulting are seeking to dispel the myth that all hacking is bad. By demonstrating how "ethical hacking," or hacking into your own system to find the penetration points, can be one of the most valuable tools today's businesses have, this IT consulting firm is finding new ways to strengthen information security.

"The best way to explain ethical hacking is to think of it as the plot for a good heist movie," advises Ronald Gottilla, senior consultant at Guidance Consulting. "Imagine that a woman needs to protect her cache of jewels. The best person to set up a security system is a jewel thief, since he'll know exactly what kind of weaknesses to look for."

Ethical hacking, or penetration testing, as it is known in IT circles, does just that. Companies can simulate a hacking experience to discover where malevolent programs like viruses, malware, and spyware can get in. They can then add layers of protection in those areas. Many software programs can perform this type of assessment, and some companies turn to their own IT staff for regular tests.

Guidance Consulting takes this idea one step further by acting as a third-party security provider. "Having a trusted third party perform the penetration testing is one of the best things a company can do to protect itself," says Gottilla. "Our experts find areas that might be overlooked by standard software programs, and we're unbiased when it comes to things like the time needed to make repairs or improvements."

When penetration testing is done through companies like Guidance Consulting, there are certain safety measures put in place, as well. "Just like you wouldn't want that jewel thief telling his friends the code to the vault he creates, we adhere to strict standards of confidentiality, non-disclosure agreements, and ethics." By doing all their research and assessments internally, Guidance Consulting minimizes the chances that a company's information might get into the wrong hands.

At the end of the day, a company's information security needs are often worth ten times as much as a vault full of valuables. That's why a little ethical hacking can go a long way in determining how best to protect a company's assets.

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