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“If only we could employ hackers!” says IT security entrepreneur

"IT security was a small niche back in the nineties," says Cox. "But as companies began to store more and more of their core data and valuable IP online, we diversified from pure consultancy to managed services. Today we watch our clients’ backs 24/7."

When Cox founded dns, the threat was principally small-time hackers out to make a name for themselves. "They were nearly always teenage males," says Cox. "They wanted to show how clever they were with their skillset, they weren’t focussed on damage." But "hacking" became more malicious during the naughties, graduating to full-on organised crime.

Cox’s 70-strong staff now work to 15-minute deadlines with all security breaches, ensuring that loopholes are closed and viruses killed within that small window. But such fast response and knowhow doesn’t come easy. "It was really tough to make hires in the first few years," says Cox. "Today, we often have to train graduates up from scratch."

But what about all the reformed hackers out there Surely they have just the right skillset to stay ahead of any malicious online intruder?

"You would think that," laughs Cox. "Unfortunately, to do this job requires high-level access to sensitive information within our clients’ organisations. If they thought that anyone with even an inkling of a ‘history’ was working with us, it would completely comprise their trust."

"If someone has wilfully damaged an organisation for fun," Cox continues, "They are not welcome in dns."

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