My name is Inti De Ceukelaire - I’m a 26 year old hacker from Belgium. I’ve always enjoyed breaking stuff, but I was too well-raised to become a cybercriminal. And now I’m proud to coach Europe’s largest crowd of ethical hackers, helping companies to improve their security on a daily basis!
Intigriti is an ethical hacking platform that matches companies with security researchers across the globe. We challenge our community of 35.000 researchers to ethically hack our customers, and in exchange, they get paid “bug bounties” worth up to €50.000 for every vulnerability they may find! Unlike the name may suggest, Intigriti is not derived from my name “Inti” - the name existed well before I joined. We have a standing world record of people misspelling Intigriti (intigrity, integrity, you name it, we heard it!).
Intigriti was originally founded by my business partner Stijn Jans in 2016. Gaining local recognition in the cybersecurity field while working for the Belgian press, I noticed the press release simply because Intigriti sounded like my name - so I sent Stijn a message telling him he better make this company a success because people will inevitably think I’m the one behind it (to this day, a lot of people think I am the original founder because of the name).
Then I found out he was living a few blocks away from me and we met in a bar later that night. I ended up signing a contract as co-founder that very night and quit my job at the Belgian public broadcast company. What a company name can do!
Intigriti is a platform for hackers - built by hackers. The hacker culture is present throughout all layers of our organization, and we try to involve community members as much as possible when trying to solve tricky problems. We’re all very passionate people trying to create a sustainable space for people just like us.
I would spend even more time hacking! There is nothing as fulfilling and exciting as helping to make the internet a safer space. There’s always more research to be done, more techniques to explore and more cybercriminals to stop.
Intigriti has two main components: the ethical hacker community and our customers - the companies they hack on. In order for us to succeed, we need to invest in both sides of the table.
Balance is key: you can’t have have a small crowd for a large amount of customers, but on the other hand, you need to make sure you have enough interesting companies to entertain your crowd and help them become successful.
We’ll look at customer and security researcher acquisition rate, financials like ARR/MRR, but also the value we provide: what vulnerabilities are found? How well does our team of ethical hackers outperform other solutions? What’s the average severity and complexity of vulnerabilities found?
Apart from the incredible 500% growth we’ve had, the best part of our journey is the tangible impact we have on people’s lives. From our customers’ perspective, our ethical hacker community was able to prevent billions worth of cybersecurity breaches.
More than 70% of our customers receive a high to critical vulnerability within the first hours after launching their program with us, many of which had several security tests from well-established companies in the past. On the ethical hacker’s side, we’re enabling people to help contribute to the security of hundreds of companies across the globe, hone their skills and earn money where they want, whenever they want - regardless of their gender, race, or experience.
I can be both excited and worried about artificial intelligence. I believe AI will help us with detecting and resolving vulnerabilities before malicious actors can find them, but I’m also worried about how they may pose additional risks as attackers may implement it into their workflows. Offensive cybersecurity is a cat and mouse game, and involving an artificially intelligent battle force in the fight is a thrilling challenge!
It probably won’t surprise you that I’m in love with the name. The positive usage of the word ‘hacker’ is something we need to encourage - the hacker community is the greatest, most welcoming family you can imagine.
I wish I had learnt about the “circle of influence” theory earlier in life. I used to worry a lot about things I had no control over and could not do anything about. Now, I try to approach each problem that comes up from the positive side: worrying about stuff never fixed anything!
Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” does not prove the strongest animals survive… the most adaptive do! This year, I’ve come to realize this also applies to businesses: the coronavirus pandemic was a challenge to all of us, but despite the uncertain times, a lot of agile companies managed to stay afloat or even skyrocket! Every challenge is also an opportunity to explore additional business services and strategies you may not think of sitting comfortably. Embrace it!
Intigriti was nominated as one of the best startups in Antwerp in Startups of the Year hosted by HackerNoon. Go vote for them!