08 June 2016

Embrace the Crowd: A Deeper Dive Into CNBC’s 2016 Disruptor 50 List

Derek Athy

Synack is excited to announce that we have just been named to the 2016 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, moving up to #20 while garnering the Disruptor 50 designation for the second consecutive year!

In its fourth year since the inaugural list debuted in 2013, over 750 companies were nominated for this year’s Disruptor 50 list. As stated on the Disruptor 50 home page, “all nominated companies were required to submit a detailed analysis, and key quantitative and qualitative information, and companies were scored using CNBC’s proprietary blend of quantitative criteria, such as the amount of venture capital raised, sales and user growth, as well as originality and scalability of the business concept and the creation of a new market or ecosystem.”

Synack once again joins innovative, disruptive companies that have become household names such as Uber, Snapchat, Airbnb, and SpaceX who have made the list multiple times, in addition to equally transformative entities of the likes of Cloudera, Coursera, and Ezetap, just to name a few for the sake of brevity (all are worthy of noting, full 2016 list here).

The selected companies combine for a staggering $41 Billion in raised venture capital and valuations that sum up to over $240 Billion, across 15 different industry verticals that include healthcare/biotech, fin tech, energy, media, big data, cybersecurity, and more (CNBC).

It’s difficult to imagine today’s fast-paced world in the absence of this year’s Disruptor 50 companies, and an intriguing trend is observed within this year’s list – crowdsourcing is here, and it’s here to stay.

Of the 50 companies listed, nearly 25% of them harness the power of crowdsourcing. Whether through crowdsourced model platforms like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, GitHub, Houzz, and us here at Synack, or in a fashion built to facilitate further collaboration, growth, and expansion seen at companies like Coursera, Udacity, and Pinterest, the formidable influence of crowd-centric models is evident. The advantages of aggregating a diversity of opinions, skillsets, creativity, and of the scalability and constant accessibility that crowdsourced solutions provide are continuing to overcome boundaries and limitations witnessed in more traditional models across industries that include transportation, hospitality, education, and yes, even cybersecurity.

These models have emerged addressing a common theme – an industry shortage that can be addressed through the power of a qualified, incentivized crowd. Think easy access to affordable rides, rooms while travelling, or learning opportunities, while providing a means of income and/or reward to masses of willing individuals. In security, the shortage lies in access to expert personnel who can truly emulate and prevent against real-world adversaries.

Today, enterprises are faced with a well-documented talent gap; the need for security experts far outweighs the available pool of suitable candidates for hire. As a result, companies often have to rely on either one-dimensional automated solutions, external penetration testing groups, or static security teams with limited access to experienced security personnel. And these traditional measures simply aren’t working, just check the news of the latest breach…

Maintaining application and network security requires constant vigilance, not periodic, point-in-time testing. It requires access to a diverse group of skilled and trusted hackers, not just 2, 3, 4, 5 “pen testers” and resource-strapped security teams. It requires actually mimicking and anticipating the creativity and human ingenuity of real-world hackers, not reliance on signature-based machine technologies attempting to do so.

Synack’s Crowd Security Intelligence™ model alleviates these concerns and shortcomings. The solution – build a private community (the Synack Red Team) of hundreds of the most sought-after ethical hackers in the world and reward them for discovering critical vulnerabilities in enterprise’s digital environments. The Synack Red Team is purely results driven, the more valid security bugs they find and report, the more critical the vulnerabilities, the higher the payouts – driving creativity and productivity to levels that traditional security solutions cannot attain. We leverage trusted hackers with different levels of education, from diverse walks of life, with very different economic backgrounds, from 37 different countries who are brought together simply by their ability and desire to take an ethical approach to hacking – helping to protect and secure our customer organizations in the process.

This Crowd Security Intelligence™ solution provides the scalability, diversity, continuity, flexibility, and hacker mentality needed to harden networks and applications in today’s evolving threat landscape. And as our crowd of vetted of trusted hackers continues to grow, as our crowd-enabling technologies continue to advance, Synack has positioned ourselves in a fashion that we can readily adapt to any shifts in security dynamics and continue to redefine how leading global organizations approach cyber security – just as other Disruptor 50 companies on this year’s list are disrupting stagnant competitors that came long-before in their respective industries.