By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Hacken is an ecosystem of white hat hackers providing cybersecurity services. It consists of the HackenProof bug bounty marketplace, Zero-day Remuneration Platform, Hacken Accelerator and Cybersecurity Analytics Center. The Hacken Ecosystem utilizes its own cryptocurrency HKN — a dedicated cryptocurrency for white hat hackers to incentivize users to interact with its ecosystem. Hacken’s vision is to launch a movement that in several years will become one of the main driving forces deterring and countering international cybercrime.

How are you different?

Hacken focuses on blockchain security which is much-needed by many businesses nowadays. Unlike traditional penetration test firms with fixed fees and limited number of staff, Hacken’s crowdsourced model allows for solving cybersecurity issues in a quick and cost-efficient manner.

Why will you do well?

We already have the first feedback from clients, big Ukrainian e-commerce businesses who agreed for a test run, and it’s very positive. The test run was held this September during the HackIT cup competition which we organized for 30 top white hat hackers from all over the world. Within only 3 hours they found dozens of vulnerabilities in those companies’ product code leaving one of them uncertain whether to keep maintaining a department of in-house testers. All of the participants left impressed by the speed and quality: not only did we find bugs in their code, but we also showed how to fix them. The CTO of one of the e-commerce businesses who participated in the test run of HackenProof rated us 10 out of 10 and said he’d rather use our services than have an in-house team of testers. This is how effective Hacken is and this is what gives me the confidence we’ll succeed.

Where are you based?

Hacken is originally from Ukraine, but we have an international team of experts and advisors.

When was the company launched?

I came up with the idea to launch Hacken in the spring of 2017. Back then I was a top executive within Ukraine’s Defense Industry where I met my future teammates at Hacken. I started learning more about blockchain and realized that this technology has great potential. Many businesses now develop their products around blockchain and they’re in desperate need of cybersecurity services. As a response to this, we came up with the idea to create a decentralized community of white hat, or ethical, hackers to do bug hunting. The positive side-effect is that this model incentivizes hackers to make legitimate profit from what they’re doing leaving less to the dark side. To find and recruit the best white hat hackers we did a series of CTF competitions with the final HackIT cup event in the end of September, 2017. Steve Wozniak attended it, it was a great honor for us.

Right now we’re approaching the end of our token sale and will present alpha version of HackenProof by the end of this year.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

I think that winning John McAfee over to our team is a great success. Having such cybersecurity legend as an advisor is priceless. He’ll definitely make a great contribution to our product development and business strategy.

Who are you trying to attract to your product?

There are two major target groups: white hat hackers and product owners. For hackers it’s an opportunity to apply their talent on the ‘bright’ side of the firewall and make a legitimate profit. For companies it’s a way to acquire cost-efficient high quality penetration test services and vulnerabilities assessment for their products. We also invented the ‘burning principle’ to expedite the growth of Hacken token’s liquidity, and lessen the volatility risks for it. This additionally incentivizes Hacken community members to interact with our Ecosystem. It is important for all owners of Hacken to understand that “burning” affects only the platform fees, thus reducing the amount of Hackens which we, the founders of the platform, not our customers or clients, own.

What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?

My recommendation is to follow trends and market niches to fill in, put time into networking and of course work on your product. For Hacken we found it very effective holding a design sprint where the whole team took spent a week polishing the concept of our product, brainstorming new features, finding ways to enhance its strong sides and fix the weaknesses. We also did a series of interviews with potential clients to get a deeper understanding of their needs.

Tell us about your team?

Our executive team is comprised of 6 people. Additionally we have about 23 freelancers, advisors and contractors. I, Dmytro Budorin act as the chief manager and CFO.

Nikita Knysh is a white hat community director. He specializes in cybersecurity training for various government institutions of Ukraine.

Yegor Aushev is our business development director. Since 2015, Yegor is the CEO of Information Security Group — a boutique cybersecurity firm providing
penetration testing, data protection services and information security audit.

Andrii Matiukhin is the Hacken-proof technical director. His role in the project is to provide technology leadership for developing, integrating, and supporting the HackenProof platform.

Vladimir Taratushka works as the Hack-IT conference director.

Evgenia Broshevan is the Hack-IT conference manager.

Olga Samoilova is the business development manager.

What are your plans for the future?

We’ll launch the HackenProof Marketplace by the end of this year. Right now we’re working to add such features and security audit for ICOs, insurance from cybersecurity risks, automation of smart contract audits.

How do people get in touch with you?

You can reach me via Linkedin. Also, visit https://hacken.io/ to learn more about Hacken and join our token sale.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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