Nato urges military to recruit white hat hacker army to boost cyber defenses
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has called for the military and private industry to recruit more ethical hackers, as their skills can be an essential weapon in its ongoing anti-black hat war.
NATO deputy assistant secretary general Jamie Shea said that in order to have a strong cyber defense, a wider group of people with diverse skills is needed. \"In order to have a defense you need to have a much wider group of people with a much broader set of skills working for you than as in the old days when we were talking about the man from the ministry with a set identity,\" he said[^1^].
He added that the hacker community is currently an under-tapped source that could help temporarily plug the global cyberskills gap. A NATO spokesperson said that companies and governments must create an ethical disclosure culture that makes it financially advantageous for cyberprofessionals to responsibly report vulnerabilities.
The spokesperson also praised the UK Cyber Strategy as a key step in the right direction. \"The UK has recently launched a training and education initiative in schools and universities to address the skills gap,\" the spokesperson said[^1^].
The call for more white hat hackers comes as the Pentagon has expanded its program of using external hackers to probe its systems for cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programs, launched in 2016, were confined to publicly facing Defense web sites. As of Tuesday, they cover all publicly-accessible DoD information systems[^2^].
\"We have malicious hackers trying to get into our systems every day,\" said Air Force Chief Information Security Officer Peter Kim. \"It will be nice to have friendly hackers taking a shot and, most importantly, showing us how to improve our cybersecurity and defense posture\" [^3^].
The Pentagon said it will pay rewards ranging from $500 to $50,000 depending on the severity of the vulnerability found. The program is open to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who are not on the U.S. sanctions list.
White hat hackers use their skills to enhance the security of systems, shield them from malicious software, and make the internet a safer place. They are often independent researchers or employed by cyber security firms. Many have a strong background in programming and computer science [^4^].
Some of the benefits of hiring white hat hackers are mitigating vulnerabilities, preventing data breaches or identity thefts, and complying with regulations and standards. White hat hackers can find and fix security flaws before they can be exploited by malicious actors. They can also help organizations or individuals protect their sensitive information and reputation .
White hat hackers follow a code of ethics that distinguishes them from black hat hackers. They respect the rule of law and the privacy of others. They only hack systems with authorization and consent. They disclose all the vulnerabilities they find to the responsible parties. They do not use their skills for personal gain or malicious purposes [^1^] [^4^].
White hat hacking is a challenging and rewarding career that requires constant learning and adaptation. White hat hackers need to keep up with the latest technologies, threats, and countermeasures. They also need to have good communication and problem-solving skills. White hat hackers can earn certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to demonstrate their competence and credibility [^4^]. ec8f644aee