Although hacking is usually considered negative, this legal startup facilitates a connection between companies and ethical hackers. HackerOne is a marketplace where companies can pay hackers to identify and rectify security flaws in their software. The company has just raised $40 million in venture capital funding to allow them to continue to grow and expand.
Large companies like Apple and Google spend millions on employing amateurs and professional hackers annually, and even smaller companies see the value of such preventative measures. It’s cheaper to spend the millions on ensuring security than to pay out the massive financial and image losses in the case of a malicious hack.
The technical term attributed to the services HackerOne provides is offering “bug bounties”, which can range from $100 to $30,000. HackerOne has a community of over 100,000 hackers who can engage in hunting bugs for potentially vulnerable companies.
International companies like Nintendo, Uber, Starbucks, Twitter and Airbnb all employ HackerOne’s services to connect with its vast community of hackers. The startup was also selected to assist the US Department of Defense in finding weaknesses in their military software. HackerOne has so far resolved 37,000 security vulnerabilities for over 700 customers.
While the start-up isn’t yet profitable, the company is financially strong, according to CEO Marten Mickos. The company was awarded $7 million in 2016 alone. Mickos says that the company is raising capital to allow it to focus on developing its technology and working towards its long-term future. HackerOne’s future plans are international expansion into Europe and educating younger hackers in security.