Probably the word “hacker” recall a number of cyber attacks against public agencies, companies or even banks, but their “presence” in a technological world that is overwhelmed by the production and storage of large volumes of data seems rather necessary. This means that many companies or public organizations are becoming an easy target for cyber attacks because they may not have identified weaknesses -but some of their extremely charming- points of their software.
“The translation of the term hacker in the workplace is a penetration tester and is not in any way related to those who violate personal or corporate data. His role is to hack the company that recruits him to show off her weak points.”
This explains the co-founder of Hack The Box, Harris Pilarinos, to the “K”, presenting the moral side of hackers. He and James Hooker and Aris Zikopoulos founded Hack The Box, based in Kent, England in 2017, to “target” aspiring cyber security users.
Although the acquisition of a university degree is not a prerequisite for skills of this nature, there is a shortage of around 3 million professionals worldwide in the field of cybersecurity. This may be explained by the fact that digital skills are the most scarce in the labor market. As reported in a recent report by the EY 48% of European business executives estimate that knowledge about cyber-security, artificial intelligence and robotics are the most scarce skills in Europe.
To fill this gap, Mr. Pylarinos has developed a computer simulation platform, which the user is called to “hack”. Gaming elements are also added to it, allowing it to compete with the people around and socialize through the platform. Those users who manage to hack the particular computer systems (laboratories) get points and go up in the ranking, the latter (higher) being considered as a certificate of excellence. In the end, users can post the score they have even achieved in their resume, since, according to Mr. Pilarinos,
“Our company is evolving into a strong brand in cybersecurity.”
This is also evidenced by the gradual increase of members using the platform. As of last year, 86,000 new members have been registered, with a total number of 120,000.
The platform can even register companies or even universities, creating their own workshops or publishing jobs for those who have managed to break the technological puzzles of HTB systems. The latter is already working with two of the Big Four companies like Ernst & Young or others like Jet.com, and many US universities such as the University of San Francisco and Greek as well as the University of Piraeus. HTB has recently managed to cover its funding gap by raising 1.2m euros from Greek Marathon Venture Capital, in order to expand its team, most of which is in Greece.