With each passing year cybersecurity becomes more and more important. Global connectivity and the cloud have transformed data into the new gold, and cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods to steal that data. Fortunately, former hackers turned cybersecurity experts such as Goh En Wei, known universally as Mervyn, have insider knowledge of the hacker mindset and are using that expertise to help businesses stay safe.
“Just as it takes a wolf to catch a wolf, there’s nothing better to stop a current hacker in their tracks than someone, who’s been there, done it, and worn the t-shirt,” explained Mervyn who was introduced to hacking from a young age through the movie ‘BlackHat.’ Mervyn added, “By the time I was a teenager, I had taught myself everything I possibly could about computers and the online world and I was fully immersed into the hacking culture. If it wasn’t for a brush with the law at the age of 14 I probably wouldn’t have seen the light and changed my ways.”
After his hacking exploits were discovered by the authorities, Mervyn was determined to change tack and do something positive and legal with his skills. He began creating websites and studying blockchain technology. Things snowballed and after actively participating in developing the first Bitcoin Wallet -BitcoinCore, Mervyn can be found today developing trading bots and advising clients how to avoid hacker scams and phishing.
Mervyn explained, “When you’re a hacker you’re operating in the shadows, and so you’re not an easily identifiable and targetable enemy. It’s difficult to combat the strategies of someone like that unless you can get under their skin and think along the same lines. As a poacher turned gamekeeper, that’s my specialty. I can help clients ward off any potential data breaches but I can also advise them on any vulnerabilities in their existing structure. Whereas I once wore a ‘blackhat,’ I am now one of the good guys, an ethical hacker, and I’m so glad I decided to put my skills to positive and worthwhile use.”