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Why You Should Know the Hacker Mindset

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 08, 2019

Thinking like a lawyer will not help with your firm's cybersecurity. For that, you have to think like a hacker. It takes a hacker's mindset to take advantage of vulnerabilities, back doors, and poorly designed systems.

One more thing, if you think you are better than the average tech expert, you are the perfect target. That's because the average hacker uses robots that are smarter than you.

Robot Hackers

Jeff Moss, a security advisor to Homeland Security, says that everyone is at risk. Robots are checking everybody all the time. No one is 100 percent secure. "They're all at risk, they're being attacked continually, and they're all vulnerable," said Moss, who is also founder of the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences.

According to the 2018 Black Report, most hackers said they could breach a system and steal data in less than a day. They can penetrate all systems, including governments, law firms, aviation, telecommunications, and critical infrastructure. The best you can do, the experts say, is to develop a hacker mindset. That means figuring out who are the targets, and who are their enemies.

Hacker Mindset

To stay ahead of cyberattacks, it takes more than technology because hackers are inventive. As soon as one door is closed, they look for another.

Last year, for example, hackers raided a casino through a fish tank. The tank had temperature-controlled sensors that were monitored via a computer. The attacker went in through the sensors to the computer, on to the network, and bingo! Gigabytes of data. Facebook, Yahoo, Marriott, Equifax, Uber, Target, Home Depot, and countless others have lost the cyber lotto, too. And law firms are hardly immune. Mossack Fonseca saw more than 11.5 million of its documents leaked to the public; DLA Piper literally shut down its offices.

"Hackers are very persistent and data driven," says Jennifer Arcuri of Hacker House. "Always anticipating how that might be applied to your organization is a good way to think about it from their point of view."

Here are three things to keep in mind to think like a hacker:

  • Think about the whole work environment
  • Focus on the cyber network, including wireless
  • Consider human vulnerabilities and habits

Let's stay safe out there.

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