Definition: The word, hacking, is typically used today to describe the activities of individuals who break into computers and computer networks with the intention of gaining unauthorized access to sensitive information or causing harm. Earlier in history, however, the term referred to an individual who was competent and skilled in working with radio equipment. The original expression would have been complimentary. The term and its derivatives is used today to describe malicious activity. A more proper term for nefarious individuals would be “cracker”. The term could also be applied to internal threats.

Its Relevance: Unauthorized entry into an information system is serious regardless of how the breach occurs. Threats can come from a single individual, criminals, organized or otherwise, identity thieves and other irresponsible people. Taking robust steps to prevent breaches is essential. Failing to do so would be negligent.

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