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How to Protect Your IT Systems From These 7 Types of Hackers

by Erik Briceno

When it comes to business, your information systems are your lifeblood. Providing the right data protection and IT security to safeguard those systems from malware and hackers is critical to your success.

Hackers pose specific problems for data security. These highly skilled computer programmers can find security gaps and access secure systems — sometimes with good intentions, but more often with bad intentions in mind.

A hacker is an individual or group that circumvents security to access unauthorized data.

Some hacking actions are legal, but the activities that generate the most attention from the media — and the most concern for businesses — are the illegal activities. These are generally aimed at sabotaging computer systems and networks or stealing money and information.

Here’s a rundown of seven types of hackers you need to be aware of:

1. White Hat: These are commonly known as ethical hackers, and they’re the good guys of the hacking world. They use their skills to help create robust computer systems by evaluating, strengthening and improving security. These experts identify and repair potential vulnerabilities, effectively preventing exploitation by malicious hackers.

2. Black Hat: These are the opposite of White Hat hackers, and they’re the ones you often hear about on the news. Also known as crackers, they find security vulnerabilities and exploit them for personal financial gain or other malicious reasons.

A Black Hat hacker can inflict major damage on both individual computer users and large organizations by stealing personal financial information, compromising the security of major systems, or shutting down or altering the function of websites and networks. Having the right security to prevent or detect malicious hacking operations is a vital part of your IT tech support.

3. Gray Hat: These hackers fall somewhere in the middle, sharing traits of both their fellow White and Black hats. They may violate ethical standards or principles, but without the malicious intent ascribed to black hat hackers. Sometimes they’re simply showing off their skills.

While gray hats don’t typically steal money or information, they could if they wanted to. And while they don’t necessarily use their skills for the benefit of others, they could also do that if they wanted to.

4. Script Kiddie: These novice hackers attempt to attack computer systems or vandalize websites. Although generally less experienced and mature, they can inflict as much computer damage as professional hackers, and they’re subject to similar criminal charges as their older and savvier counterparts.

5. Nation-State Hacker: These hackers are employed by governments to engage in espionage through surveillance or sabotage of a target or theft of information. These hackers are often defined as an advanced persistent threat (APT).

6. Malicious Insider: This type of attack can come from a whistleblower or a disgruntled employee — someone inside an organization who has authorized access to a network or computer system. An insider has the advantage of knowing the network architecture and system procedures.

7. Hacktivist: These groups or individuals use hacking to make a political statement or seek social change. In contrast to hackers with malicious intentions, hacktivists engage in an online strategy to exercise civil disobedience. Their targets are often governments or corporations with whom they disagree. The Anonymous collective is a well-known example of a hacktivist group.

How to Protect Your IT Systems From These 7 Types of HackersAs your organization evolves, so do the requirements of your specific IT environment. Our expert engineers can protect and defend your vital IT systems from hackers and other cyber threats by ensuring their availability, integrity, authenticity and confidentiality.

We’ll incorporate the protection, detection and reaction capabilities necessary to assure that your information will be there when you need it. Call us for a free consultation and we’ll talk through the process — no strings attached.



Since 1995, Manassas Park, VA-based V2 Systems has employed local systems administrators, network engineers, security consultants, help desk technicians and partnering companies to meet a wide range of clients’ IT needs, from research, to implementation, to maintenance. Concentrate on your VISION…We’ll handle the TECHNOLOGY! 


About ebriceno
Erik Briceño is the owner of V2 Systems, Inc., one of Northern Virginia’s leading Information Technology Managed Service Providers. He is an inspiring leader for its employees and instrumental business partner for its customers. He is passionate about V2’s purpose, dedicated to exceeding expectations and a consummate professional not afraid of jumping in and getting his hands dirty. Prior to joining V2 Systems in 2002, Erik was a co-founder and COO of, a leading provider of online resources servicing over 5,000 independent musical artists. At, Erik spearheaded all aspects of corporate development, funding, strategic vision, and business development for the firm. From 1997 to 1999 Erik held the position of Acoustic Systems Engineer for Electric Boat Corporation, a leading defense contractor. In this role, Erik was responsible for the acoustic fidelity of two noise critical systems and components in the US Navy’s nuclear submarine systems. Erik holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. When not working, you will find Erik a dedicated family man, raising two young children with his lovely wife Karen. Together, they enjoy building legos, playing baseball, skiing, riding horses, swimming, traveling, and fixing up old Mopars.
How to Protect Your IT Systems From These 7 Types of Hackers
How to Protect Your IT Systems From These 7 Types of Hackers