Given the scope of ongoing national and international threats to the cybersecurity of individuals, businesses and governments, America is in dire need of more "white-hat" hackers. There are plenty of job openings, and the positions are well-paid. It's only the qualified candidates that are missing.
So argues Dr. Jared DeMott, formerly of the NSA and currently an associate professor of cybersecurity at Dakota State University. He's also the founder of VDA Labs in Michigan, a cybersecurity company. (VDA stands for Vulnerability Discovery and Analysis.)
In his spare time, DeMott does contract work for Synack, one of the 50 CNBC Disruptors of 2017, a company started by other ex-NSA types that hires good-guy hackers to act like bad-guy hackers in order to help clients realize and attend to their vulnerabilities.
Mark Kuhr, co-founder of Synack, agrees: He says business is booming. "Everything is hackable," he tells CNBC, so there is an endless need for the services of talented individuals who can help with risk mitigation. His company puts all potential freelance hackers through a five-step extreme vetting process that tests their skills and trustworthiness, and ultimately it accepts only 10 percent of those who apply.