Malicious-minded computer hackers cause all sorts of turmoil and grief for corporations and individuals alike. In recent years, companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Sony and Target have all suffered public relations crises of enormous proportions when hackers stole privileged information. In the case of the Target hacking in 2013, as many as 40 million card numbers were compromised. And the shoppers, of course, were left picking up the pieces of financial problems and sometimes even stolen identities. In short, it's a lot like millions of people getting mugged in broad daylight.
Companies are fighting back. Instead of relying on just law enforcement computer experts, they hire their own hackers – counter hackers who anticipate attacks and actively repel them. Hackers use sophisticated software tools or sometimes social engineering schemes to access protected networks. Once they're in, counter hackers go to work.
Counter hackers have extensive training in software development and computer forensics. They can analyze an attacker's methods and even deconstruct them. For example, if a hacker manages to infect computers with malware (malicious software), the counter hacker may reverse engineer the malware to determine its purpose and mitigate its effects.
With the advent of the IoT, hackers have a lot more devices they can exploit. And counter hackers have that many more devices to protect. It's an arms race of sorts, and this battle will likely rage on for as long as the Internet exists.
The IoT holds unparalleled potential for companies all around the world. To make the most of that potential, corporations need employees who understand the interconnected nature of our collective economic future. By honing their skills for this new level of networking, tech professionals will find new challenges and opportunities for years to come.
Author's Note: 10 New Jobs Created by the Internet of Things
For anyone who watched "The Matrix" or "Terminator" and suspected that a digitally driven nightmare scenario could really one day take over our world, the IoT is probably a little terrifying. In truth, as with so many human inventions, there is vast potential for both good and evil in the IoT. And to preserve the best aspects of these amazing tools, we'll need millions and millions of ethical and intelligent professionals who will safeguard these systems to make sure they're used to improve our society and not destroy it.
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