As our computer systems and networks have advanced over the past few decades, growing in both capability and complexity, the potential risks have followed.

Now, with current IT networks being as complex as they are, the dangers are higher than ever. In nearly every industry, computer systems are used to store valuable personal information, data relevant to the company and extensive records.

Preventing the loss of this information is no easy task, and requires a form of simulation specific to the IT field.

The ethical hacking process

So-called penetration testing or ethical hacking is carried out by security firms posing as outside threats. In this process, a company will hire a firm to attempt to breach a network, thus highlighting any flaws a potential hacker may spot. By doing so, any actual security risks are substantially mitigated.

One industry, healthcare, is taking advantage of simulated hacking through a program called CybrerRX, the first industry-wide cyber security exercise. By participating in the program, healthcare organisations hope to become better prepared to handle security threats – something much needed when valuable information is constantly at risk.

“I feel strongly that these exercises are needed as a crucial step in the healthcare industry’s continued maturity around cyber threat preparedness and response,” said Roy Mellinger, vice president and chief information security officer, WellPoint, Inc.

“It will allow organisations to evaluate and improve their processes and identify gaps in what is needed industry-wide and from government.”

Programs like CyberRX showcase the value of simulation technologies and processes beyond entertainment, and help to reinforce the uses in a variety of areas.

Unlike films and other forms of entertainment, simulation has the capability to impact a significant number of industries, and provide lasting benefits including the ability to mitigate security risks.

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