6 Hacker Hat Colours Explained

December 17, 2021 | 57 views

Hacker_Hat
Hacking and hackers are probably the number one concern for modern businesses and cybersecurity professionals today. This is because successful black hat hackers can cause widespread damage to business operations, profits and reputation.

However, despite the fact that everyone seems to be concerned about hackers, hacking as a category is widely misunderstood. Not all hackers are bad and different hat colours denote different types of hackers which are important to understand for anyone interested in truly comprehending cyber crime and building long term cyber resilience. 

Just as characters in old western movies wore different-coloured hats to reflect their alignment, there are different hacker hat colours that denote different categories of hackers. In this blog, we explain the six different hacker hat colours and how they impact cybersecurity.

1. White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers actually use their skills for good. Also, called ethical hackers or penetration testers, these are cybersecurity professionals who look for vulnerabilities in businesses’ IT systems. They then recommend possible improvements to help keep businesses safe from black hat hackers or the real cyber criminals as we know them.

White hat hackers and penetration testers can reveal crucial cybersecurity flaws in business infrastructure. For example, one recent ethical hacking project found that 65% of tested organizations didn’t use multifactor authentication. Without these tests, companies may have glaring vulnerabilities they don’t know about, exposing themselves to expensive ransomware attacks and other cyber threats.

2. Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers are the most familiar type of cyber criminals that we all know of. These are cybercriminals that maliciously attack users or organisations for personal gain. More often than not, their actions are financially motivated, like stealing data to resell on the dark web or using ransomware to demand payment.

While many of these hackers are skilled, simple attacks often prove effective enough to cause considerable damage. For example, one stolen password compromised more than 60 million Dropbox accounts at the hands of a black hat hacker. Even in the case of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, it appears that a leaked password was all that was required to disrupt gas supplies in the world’s largest economy.

To protect your business from such malicious attacks by black hat hackers, you can prepare yourself to prevent ransomware attacks by downloading our Ransomware Checklist. If you end up being hit by ransomware, you can use our Ransomware Response Workflow and our Ransomware Response Checklist to take the right steps and mitigate the impact of attack as far as possible. 

3. Gray Hat Hackers
As one might expect, gray hat hackers don’t fall neatly into either “good” or “bad” categories. They may not have malicious intent like black hat hackers but may still engage in illegal practices, unlike white hats. Many of them simply enjoy hacking as a hobby and try to find new exploits and vulnerabilities for fun.

Some gray hat hackers act like white hats but through illegal or illicit methods. One such incident occurred in 2013 when a web developer hacked into Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page to demonstrate a bug in the platform’s infrastructure. The intent wasn’t exactly malicious but the end result can be seen as incorrect.

4. Red Hat Hackers
Red hat hackers are similar to gray hats in that they fall somewhere between white and black hats. These actors are vigilantes, taking cybersecurity into their own hands by seeking and attacking black hats.

Instead of stopping black hat hackers and turning them in to the authorities, they launch cyberattacks against them. They may use viruses, DDoS attacks or other methods to compromise and even destroy hackers’ resources. Some people debate whether these internet vigilantes really exist or are merely a romanticized ideal since there’s little evidence of their actions.

5. Blue Hat Hackers
The term “blue hat hackers” has two different meanings, depending on the source. In some circles, these are penetration testers that work outside the company. Microsoft hosts a blue hat conference to improve cybersecurity training and encourage continuous learning on hacking techniques.

The other definition refers to hackers who act only out of revenge. These are typically less-skilled attackers who have only learned hacking methods to take out a specific target. They may attack only once but could cause significant damage since they’re not interested in monetary gains.

6. Green Hat Hackers
Like blue hat hackers, green hats are new to the practice. Unlike the blue hats, though, they have a desire to grow and become expert hackers. These are fledgling black hats, seeking vulnerable targets to hone their skills on and eventually evolve into more dangerous threats.

While green hat hackers lack the skills of more experienced cybercriminals, they can still be concerning. As the Dropbox hack shows, it doesn’t always take high-level techniques to cause damage. These attackers may also target small businesses with less advanced security that may not be able to recover.

Why should you know the different types of hackers?
Hacking is a wide and very diverse field, contrary to what many people may think about it.

It is important for cybersecurity professionals and security-focussed businesses to understand the different types of hackers and even hacker hat colors. This is simply because knowing your enemy, their tactics and techniques, their motivations and their skill level is critical to keeping your business safe.

Only once you understand some basic hacking techniques and methods can you gauge the opportunities hackers may be after with respect to your specific business.

You can prepare for a potential hacking incident in your own organisation with a Cyber Tabletop Exercise. An external, experienced facilitator can play a crucial role in helping your business executives understand the different types of hacking techniques and what a hacker may be after in your business.

The exercise involves building a cybersecurity scenario-based simulation which can help team members understand where your business stands with respect to possible cyber attacks and hacks. Only once you’re aware of your weaknesses and the loopholes in your incident response plans and strategies can you work towards building a strong, cyber-resilient organisation over the longer term.

Spotlight

Cyber Group Inc.

Based in Texas, Cyber Group is one of the fastest growing software service companies in the region with 225+ strong team members in Dallas, Texas. The company offers solutions that are tailored to the needs of individual clients utilizing expertise in customer experience & CRM, application development & integration, production support & quality assurance, and data analytics & AI. Cyber Group’s mission is to grow talent and develop life-long relationships with its customers. The company has been featured on INC 5000 and The Best Places To Work in recent years.

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Article | March 16, 2022

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Article | February 9, 2022

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Cyber Group Inc.

Based in Texas, Cyber Group is one of the fastest growing software service companies in the region with 225+ strong team members in Dallas, Texas. The company offers solutions that are tailored to the needs of individual clients utilizing expertise in customer experience & CRM, application development & integration, production support & quality assurance, and data analytics & AI. Cyber Group’s mission is to grow talent and develop life-long relationships with its customers. The company has been featured on INC 5000 and The Best Places To Work in recent years.

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Absolute Software Unveils New Product Innovations for Resilient Zero Trust

Absolute | December 01, 2022

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Datadog Announces Integration with Amazon Security Lake

Datadog | November 30, 2022

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Netskope Further Improves Risk Visibility on AWS, Strengthening Customers' Security Posture

Netskope | December 01, 2022

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Absolute Software Unveils New Product Innovations for Resilient Zero Trust

Absolute | December 01, 2022

Absolute Software™ , the only provider of self-healing, intelligent security solutions, today announced new product innovations, empowering customers with deeper visibility and intelligence, expanded software integrations, and a refreshed user experience through its latest updates to Absolute Secure Endpoint and Absolute Secure Access. These product releases continue the company’s investment in bringing together the combined power of Absolute Secure Endpoint and Absolute Secure Access with our unique, firmware-embedded self-healing capability, enabling customers to achieve truly resilient Zero Trust environments and deliver an optimal user experience. This announcement builds on the launch of Absolute ZTNA – the industry’s first self-healing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution – and Absolute Insights™ for Endpoints and Network, providing unparalleled intelligence into device, application, and network performance. 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It’s a situation that complicates security operations and one that can impact employee productivity. “Our common platform addresses a wide range of market needs, as we have the unique ability to apply self-healing capabilities to devices, applications, and network access. “Organizations are acknowledging that they need resilience-focused Zero Trust approaches, capable of integrating endpoint and access assessments at every step. By providing the critical components needed to achieve that resiliency - deep visibility, intelligence, and firmware-embedded Persistence - we are enabling them to not only protect devices, data, and users but also ensure critical controls are operating at maximum efficacy.” John Herrema, EVP of Products and Strategy at Absolute New capabilities available to Absolute Secure Endpoint customers in the latest product release include: Public API Expansion: The latest Absolute Secure Endpoint release adds new Public APIs to our existing library, allowing customers and partners to integrate our device actions into their existing workflows - significantly improving the efficiency of their existing workflows and enhancing automation capabilities. Absolute Connector for ServiceNow™: The Absolute Connector for ServiceNow enables joint customers to access Absolute’s comprehensive asset intelligence and single source of truth within their ServiceNow platform environment – enabling them to efficiently respond to service requests, supplement their ServiceNow workflows, and rapidly demonstrate compliance. Expanded Application Resilience™ Catalog: The Absolute Application Resilience catalog now includes support for more than 60 critical security applications that IT and security administrators can self-heal across their endpoints. Recent additions include WinMagic® MagicEndpoint™, Dell™ Trusted Device, Deep Instinct™, Norton 360™, OPSWAT™, UNOWHY™, Aranda Software™, and Pixart® MDM. The company also announced upcoming server and client enhancements to Absolute Secure Access, including: New Look and Feel: The names, status icons, fonts, and colors have been updated to reflect new product names and refreshed corporate brand; the core functionality and upgrade experience remain smooth and easy. SaaS Enhancements: The SaaS offering adds native NAT capabilities and enhanced alerting. Enhanced 5G Telemetry and Detection: Insights for Network dashboards that display cellular coverage, signal quality, and usage now include the 5G mid-band spectrum, and reflect improved 5G sensitivity. Deeper Visibility: The Secure Access/webService API has been enhanced, offering programmatic access to key pool performance metrics, including status information for our Active/Active server infrastructure. Faster NAC Checks: NAC capabilities are optimized, significantly reducing the time it takes for the VPN to connect and begin tunneling traffic. Android Client Enhancements: Collecting network telemetry on Android devices can now be done with the screen off to improve battery life, ensuring that administrators have actionable device and network information even if a device is in sleep mode. The Android cryptographic libraries providing FIPS 140-2 cryptography are also updated. The features included in the latest Absolute Secure Endpoint release are available now. For additional details, including which are available to Control, Visibility, or Resilience tier customers, visit here. The company expects to make Absolute Secure Access updates available to customers in January 2023. About Absolute Software Absolute Software is the only provider of self-healing, intelligent security solutions. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, Absolute is the only platform offering a permanent digital connection that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network connections - helping customers to strengthen cyber resilience against the escalating threat of ransomware and malicious attacks. Trusted by 18,000 customers, G2 recognized Absolute as a leader for the eleventh consecutive quarter in the Fall 2022 Grid® Report for Endpoint Management and as a high performer in the Grid Report for Zero Trust Networking.

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Datadog Announces Integration with Amazon Security Lake

Datadog | November 30, 2022

Datadog, Inc., the monitoring and security platform for cloud applications, today announced a new integration with Amazon Security Lake. The integration, announced during AWS re:Invent, makes it easy for Amazon Security Lake users to send cloud security logs to Datadog in a standard format. Building data pipelines in order to aggregate and route security logs to various security analytics solutions can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. For Amazon Security Lake customers, Datadog's integration provides an easy way to send security logs to Datadog with minimal configuration required. Once security logs are ingested into Datadog, customers can analyze and identify threats through out-of-the-box detection rules or by writing custom security rules. They can also do deeper investigations using Datadog's log management tools. "Amazon Security Lake makes it easier for teams to manage their cloud security data and analyze it with partner solutions of their choice," said Rod Wallace, General Manager for Amazon Security Lake. "Datadog's integration with Amazon Security Lake will allow customers to collect their security logs to improve their cybersecurity posture and send them to Datadog for analysis leveraging an open source schema." "Security threat detection and investigation is dependent on an effective logging strategy that ensures critical logs are being properly analyzed. However, managing dozens of log integrations from cloud-hosted accounts and entities can be cumbersome and lead to gaps in visibility. "Amazon Security Lake and Datadog are working together to provide an easy way to set up and manage important log integrations for Datadog Cloud SIEM, giving customers deep visibility into their most critical infrastructure." Pierre Betouin, SVP of Security Products at Datadog About Datadog Datadog is the monitoring and security platform for cloud applications. Our SaaS platform integrates and automates infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring and log management to provide unified, real-time observability of our customers' entire technology stack. Datadog is used by organizations of all sizes and across a wide range of industries to enable digital transformation and cloud migration, drive collaboration among development, operations, security and business teams, accelerate time to market for applications, reduce time to problem resolution, secure applications and infrastructure, understand user behavior and track key business metrics.

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DATA SECURITY,PLATFORM SECURITY,SOFTWARE SECURITY

Netskope Further Improves Risk Visibility on AWS, Strengthening Customers' Security Posture

Netskope | December 01, 2022

Netskope, a global leader in secure access service edge (SASE), is announcing new support of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to further improve visibility of risks and threats on AWS services, resulting in even stronger security postures for customers. Through this work, Netskope will support the launch of AWS Verified Access and Amazon Security Lake to drive innovation for enterprises running on AWS. As the cybersecurity landscape becomes more complex and multifaceted, organizations want to confidently know their data, employees, and resources are safe from potential attacks. Netskope has helped thousands of customers, including more than 25 of the Fortune 100, improve their security posture through integrated zero trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), cloud security posture management (CSPM), storage scanning with data loss prevention (DLP), cloud firewall, Borderless WAN, and more. By meeting the rigorous standards of supporting the launch of AWS Verified Access and Amazon Security Lake, Netskope and customers can have greater confidence in the company's deep technical expertise on AWS and its proven track record in securing even the most complex cloud journeys. "As organizations search for seamless support and unification of their cloud security services, our work with AWS will help customers achieve even better visibility and protection in a cloud-first, hybrid work environment. "Hybrid work today happens in the office, at home, or on the go, and with this new support of Amazon Security Lake and AWS Verified Access, we'll help customers navigate their cloud security journey by securing data from anywhere, on any device." Andy Horwitz, Vice President, Business Development and Technology Alliances at Netskope Netskope will support Amazon Security Lake and AWS Verified Access by providing visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, applications, and data. Customers can expect broader and more granular data sharing to expose cloud threats and security gaps, better alert prioritization so security teams can remediate the highest threats first, and a stronger security posture with faster remediation strategies in place. "Netskope and AWS continue to help organizations with security capabilities they need to protect their users and data everywhere," said Chris Grusz, Director, ISV Partner and AWS Marketplace Business Development. "Netskope is a trusted security provider for many cloud-first organizations, and the expanded relationship with AWS will allow customers to better realize the full value of their AWS Security investments." About Netskope Netskope, a global cybersecurity leader, is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply Zero Trust principles to protect data. Fast and easy to use, the Netskope platform provides optimized access and real-time security for people, devices, and data anywhere they go. Netskope helps customers reduce risk, accelerate performance, and get unrivaled visibility into any cloud, web, and private application activity. Thousands of customers, including more than 25 of the Fortune 100, trust Netskope and its powerful NewEdge network to address evolving threats, new risks, technology shifts, organizational and network changes, and new regulatory requirements.

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