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Weighing the risk of hiring hackers
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of June 2010
Any essay on hiring hackers quickly gets bogged down in definitions. What is a hacker, and how is he different from a cracker? I have my own definitions, but I'd rather define the issue more specifically: Would you hire someone convicted of a computer crime to fill a position of trust in your computer network? Or, more generally, would you hire someone convicted of a crime for a job related to that crime? The answer, of course, is "it depends." It depends on the specifics of the crime. It depends on the ethics involved. It depends on the recidivism rate of the type of criminal. It depends a whole lot on the individual. Would you hire a convicted pedophile to work at a day care center? Would you hire Bernie Madoff to manage your investment fund? The answer is almost certainly no to those two -- but you might hire a convicted bank robber to consult on bank security. You might hire someone who was convicted of false advertising to write ad copy for your next marketing campaign. And you might hire someone who ran a chop shop to fix ...
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Features in this issue
Cloud computing alters enterprise risk. Here's what you need to know in order to safely navigate the cloud.
Symantec acquisitions of PGP and Guardian Edge future ensures that encryption is becoming less of a standalone security tool.
Learn about the options for protecting laptop data, including full disk encryption and file/folder encryption, and their associated deployment and management challenges.
GRC aims to bring together disparate compliance efforts in the enterprise, but the concept has been stymied by a lack of clarity. Developing a GRC program requires three key steps.
Columns in this issue
Organizations who stay silent after a data security breach end up paying a higher price and helping cybercriminals.
Bruce Schneier and Marcus Ranum debate the risks associated with hiring hackers.
If you're spending more to protect custodial data because of compliance than you are to protect company secrets, you're missing the big picture.