Ethical Hackers are Warriors of Light or “How to Prevent the Rise of Dark Force?”
Star Wars has played a significant role in the personal development of many children of 90s. In spite of the fact that it is a common story about the struggle between good and evil, that old chestnut, thanks to the efforts of George Lucas, each of us is looking forward to a release of new Episodes. Now we’re not children any more, but we still perceive the Sith and Jedi as role models. Star Wars has shaped the way of how we understand Light and Dark Sides of Force that directly affect our decision making and values to which people adhere. So, referring to one of the most famous and outstanding trilogies of the 20th century will help us better understand the current global balance of power in the cyber security industry and future prospects of the web.
Nowadays, the rapid technological development of the world and opportunities provided by the Internet enable anyone to facilitate the prosperity of the world. To clarify, thanks to the advancement of the IT industry, any person having a specific set of skills is able to create innovations, launch their own businesses and unite people by information systems. However, criminals or talented and skilled people with bad intentions also can capitalize on these opportunities for personal gain, which considerably increases the amount of harm to humanity caused by them. The situation is similar to one in the world of Star Wars where talented people who can feel the Force can be light knights called Jedi or use Dark Side of the Force being Siths.
Drawing on Harriet Taylor, in 2016, “FBI reported loss of more than $24 million as a result of ransomware attacks”. It’s a simple scheme, Hackers lock all the files on a PC, and its owners have to pay to unlock it. Evidently, black hat hackers get significant profits employing their skills in the unethical direction. According to Matthew Beddoes, a former hacker, his ability to find the holes in security encouraged him to hack into phone systems and earn money on it. His profits were made by employment of the skills based on negative emotions and intentions. In turn, Siths are driven by negative emotions and qualities like anger, fear, cunning, passion and envy. Obviously, the people who break into IT systems or software with an aim of stealing valuable data or incapacitate these systems employ their valuable skills based on emotions stemming from the Dark Side. In turn, in his saga, George Lucas showed us that consequently, the use of the Dark Side of the Force leads to negative outcomes regardless of the vast amount of power and possible high return entailed by it.
The most prominent example is the destiny of Anakin Skywalker. At the beginning, he’s a powerful and highly skilled jedi who has huge potential, many friends and a beautiful and influential wife. Seemingly, he has become a prominent, strong and fair leader, which would positively affect both his life and the world. However, Skywalker decided to become a Sith, following the Dark Side to reach his goals. As a result, the peaceful and prosperous galactic nation becomes a totalitarian Empire while Anakin loses his friends, family, freedom and even extremities. The modern realities are not so different. According to Travis Greene, young hackers are motivated to commit cyber crimes by money as wealth is the main objective of modern youth. But the average duration of sentences for such a criminals in a prison is approximately two decades. It is too long, especially for a young man. Isn’t it?
In turn, while watching any episode of Star Wars, each of us understands that the qualities of the Dark Force are inherent to each of us. However, the main notion is that our main duty is to control these negative emotions. Precisely this ability determines whether we’re good or bad individuals, in terms of professional or personal ethics. The same rule applies for professionals known as cybersecurity researchers called white hat hackers. They’re Jedi because they’re driven by good emotions including courage, fairness, justice, goodness and honor. It would be fair to compare them with Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi who does not succumb for Dark Side. He stays faithful to his values and beliefs. Consequently, he becomes a happy person since along with his friend called Yoda, he managed to complete his mission — bringing up a young and honorable Jedi, Luke Skywalker.
In the real world, ethical hackers as followers of Light Side are also happy, free and successful people. For example, in 2016, Alex Bennett said that “the average UK salary for an ethical hacker is now a comfortable £40,000, increasing to £60,000 for penetration testing roles”. Obviously, it’s a fine compensation, especially for ethical hackers working remotely and living in the emerging markets. In addition, such an occupation completely eliminates all risk related to hacking, including imprisonment, fines, personal responsibility for the suffering of other people and deterioration of their reputation.
How to Prevent The Rise of Dark Force?
Eventually, the neglect of the Jedi and the government of the Republic lead to the rise of the Dark Side of the Force, as well as a lack of support for Jedi, enabled the Sith to take control, become strong and eliminate almost all the light side knights. As a result, it’s evident that the main duty of the modern business community and politicians, as the main drivers of progress, is to encourage talented and skilled cyber researchers to follow the Light Side of the Force. In turn, other segments of people need to make efforts to facilitate the development of Light Side of the Force — Ethical Hacking. Only by means of this approach, will humanity be able to prevent the turning of our “Republic” governed by democracy to a totalitarian “Empire” headed by the Sith.
How to achieve it?
- We need to engage young and bright talent in learning how to earn money using their qualifications ethically. Obviously, the modern community has to provide white hat hackers with all the necessary conditions and means to enable and motivate them to experience professional growth. The same thing as Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi made for Luke Skywalker.
- We have to serve as an example for them. The young generation always takes role models of adult persons when they decide how to behave and act. So, we have to behave like Master Yoda to achieve it.
- We must provide this growing generation with good employment opportunities, conditions and recognition. Matthew Beddoes said that his indention to crack systems was caused by unwillingness of companies to pay for his efforts. Therefore, to follow the Light Side of Force, young minds need to see the prospects in building a career in the Cyber Security industry.
If you are a Sith but want to become a Jedi, follow the link to learn how to change you mind.
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