synack-hack-the-pentagon
07 May 2019

Synack Veterans Referral Program

Andre Gerard

Every year, 250,000 servicemen and women leave the armed forces. Of those who leave, 65% struggle to find jobs, despite their highly specialized skill sets in fields like cybersecurity. In my view, active duty military, veterans, and spouses comprise a largely untapped market for technology companies and startups. Their hands-on training in cybersecurity, particularly in protecting highly valuable assets such as weapons systems or voter registration databases, should make them highly sought-after recruits.

As a Veteran myself, I have witnessed these struggles firsthand. The tech industry is growing at a rapid pace, but the division of skills received in the military aren’t easily and directly mapped to industry jobs. Private and other non-military company recruiters are left struggling to translate resumes and whether service members have the qualifications to succeed at their organization. Cybersecurity and ethical hacking are skills many service members are equipped with, and translate more directly with non-military organizations. When I first started my career in Silicon Valley, I was grateful for help from others, including thoughtful introductions and mentoring. I now have the distinct pleasure to not only program manage the Synack Red Team community, but also to lead the Synack Veterans Cyber Program. My vision for the Veterans Referral Incentive program is to help military personnel and their referrals find reliable, challenging and educational employment whether they are serving now or in any other service status.

I’m sure many of my fellow veterans got a start in industry through personal introductions, mentoring, and referrals. We want to recreate and formalize that experience at Synack by launching our Referral Incentive Program under the Veterans Program umbrella. This program will be the first of its kind in the bug bounty and crowdsourcing space. Beginning this week, all Synack Veteran Professionals will be given the opportunity to refer other military spouses, active, reserve and veteran members of the armed forces who possess penetration testing skills. All referring SRT members will receive cash bonuses for every referred candidate who makes it through the Synack Red Team on-boarding process, and all new referred candidates are eligible for a cash bonus once they submit their first valid vulnerabilities on the Synack platform.

We’ve noticed a pattern here at Synack that comes up repeatedly: our veterans community helps each other out and shares information with each other more than any other subset in our hacker network. The nature of our veterans community is close knit, and we want to encourage and build upon that strength. The aim of this referral program is encourage Synack’s Veteran and Active Duty professionals to raise awareness of the opportunity in the Crowdsourced Security space through trusted and true connections.

Synack has a mission to provide opportunity and training to service members, and with a goal to grow the Synack Red Team veterans by 200% by the end of 2019, Synack will help to further technical skill sets beneficial to the SRT and clients they help to protect. With more service members answering the call, global industries and the United States DoD/Government entities will have the best of the best at their disposal. The Synack Red Team is comprised of some of the most skilled researchers around the globe, and the SVP contributes to those numbers by aiding private sector organizations and government institutions who may have certain requirements that call for protected asset testing involving only United States or security-cleared citizens.

Beginning this week, Synack Veterans now have the opportunity to receive referral bonuses for any military (active duty, reserve, veteran) members who successfully make it through the Synack onboarding process to become Red Team members/Synack Veteran Professionals and receive their first accepted vulnerability during their first 30 days on the platform.

All referrals who meet this criteria, along with successfully discovering their second vuln during the first 60 days on the platform, will also receive a bonus (all accepted vulns will receive standard payout for work utilizing CVSS scoring).

Awarded bonuses in the amount of $500 will be paid to the referring Synack Veteran once their referral joins the SRT and receives confirmation of their first valid vuln 30 days from their start date and $250 will be paid to the referred Synack Veteran upon successfully discovering their 2nd valid vuln 60 days from start date.

In order to submit a service member or their spouse for the referral program, Synack Veterans can go to Refer A Vet and fill out the form to begin the process.

Any questions and inquiries about the Referral Incentive Program or the Synack Veterans Cyber Program can be sent to [email protected]