Help AG Introduces ‘Capture the Flag’ Ethical Hacking Challenge

Recognizing the need to identify and hire skilled cyber-security experts in the Middle East, Help AG today launched a new recruitment initiative. The ‘Capture the Flag’ style challenge tests applicants’ ability to identify and solve realistic security vulnerabilities and rewards real-world technical know-how rather than assessing only educational qualifications. The security company is also extending this evaluation tool as a service to its customers upon request to help them identify technically competent staff for their in-house IT positions.

Commenting on his organization’s unique talent identification strategy, Mukhammad Khalilov, Manager Security Analysis at Help AG said, “There is a rich pool of local cyber security talent and we believe that this sort of competition will help us recruit the very best technical resources as we grow our business. Over a decade of closely monitoring the IT security landscape in the Middle East has given us keen insight into the main types of attacks and security vulnerabilities that plague regional enterprises. This has enabled us to design the scenarios in a way that best imitates these cyber-attacks. I believe participants will find this both challenging and rewarding as it will truly put their IT skills to the test.”

While cyber security is one of the fast-growing industries, pegged to become a $101 billion market by 2020, it is plagued by an acute skills shortage. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. A major factor in this has been the evolution of cyber threats and the inability of traditional academic means to foster the skill sets now needed to combat sophisticated attacks.

Help AG’s new recruitment platform invites participants to uncover vulnerabilities in various applications. These have been specifically designed by the company to mimic those that are most commonly found and exploited by hackers in the region. Among the types of attacks simulated are SQL Injection, cross-site scripting, and software exploitation and the platform also tests applicants’ ability to conduct vulnerability checks, source code audits and analysis of network packets. While participants won’t be subjected to a time limit, their performance will be graded based on the number of vulnerabilities they discover.

Help AG has posted consistent double-digit growth since its establishment in the Middle East in 2004. In this time, the company has expanded across the region with fully staffed offices in three countries across the region. “Such growth can only be sustained by a motivated and skilled workforce. We prioritize technical capabilities over educational qualifications and believe this new recruitment tool will test precisely this. Cyber security is now at a top priority for IT decision makers, which makes Help AG as a regional IT security leader, an excellent career choice,” said Nicolai Solling, CTO at Help AG.

“We also work very closely with our customers to address their main cyber security pain points. Even enterprise scale organizations that have made significant security investments remain vulnerable to attack if their IT infrastructures are not expertly managed and maintained. So, the identification and recruitment of qualified technical staff is a key concern for Middle East businesses,” he said. “By offering this platform as a service to our customers, we are providing them with an effective means to close the skills gap and match best-in-class technology with highly qualified technical resources.”