For military personnel, the desire to serve is often continuous. As highlighted in the 2018 Military to Civilian Transition Report from Veteran Affairs, every year approximately 200,000 men and women leave US military service. With the growing need for military service members to find their next mission following their time in service, there is no better place to land than the cybersecurity field where there is enormous potential to continue to serve people and protect their digital identity. The huge growing talent gap coupled with a 28 percent increase in the demand for information security analysts between 2016 and 2026, according to a Tulane University article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts, it’s no wonder why organizations are having a hard time filling critical roles in cyber fields.
Enter the Synack Veterans Program.
Veterans Day marks the two-year anniversary of Synack’s Veteran program that’s made up of active duty reservists, veterans and spouses from the US armed forces. Since the program’s inception the number of Synack Red Team (SRT) service members has grown more than 300 percent.
There are still many opportunities for military service members and other underrepresented demographics to break into cybersecurity and other technology related fields. Our most recent event in October, in recognition of Veterans Day and the Synack Veterans program, was the Synack #TeamAmerica Defenders CTF. This unique challenge incorporated two unique CTF platforms, with a warm-up challenge hosted by Hack the Box, and the main event powered by Point3. In addition to prizes and cash bonuses, US citizens completing at least one of the main event challenges were also awarded the ability to be fast-tracked through the SRT onboarding process; joining the world’s most elite crowdsourced community of ethical hackers. Joining the Synack Red Team is an opportunity for service members and other participants to build their penetration testing skills, work part time or full time from anywhere in the world, all while being financially compensated for their work.
One such opportunity is a recent Synack collaboration with Capture the Flag (CTF) and the cyber-gaming platform Hack the Box. Hack the Box users can complete challenges on their platform and Synack will recognize those accomplishments for purposes of evaluating who can join the Synack Red Team. Hack the Box users can demonstrate Synack-readiness in two ways:
1) Complete the Hack the Box “Offshore” challenges
2) Complete the Hack the Box Synack Red Team Track
Either way, Synack seeks to help find security researchers a way to advance their careers and lives via ethical security research.
With 2020 being heavily dominated by COVID-19, racial injustice and a general uncertainty of things to come, uplifting and honoring underrepresented groups is a great way to find light in darker times. Synack strives to continue working on initiatives that provide opportunities to military service members, minority groups, and more with an overall goal of fair treatment and equity for all. With 2021 around the corner, the Synack Veterans Program (along with the entire SRT community) is set for an exciting and fulfilling future of continuing to serve and protect the world from an array of cyber threats. #CanYouHackIt