Welcoming Zerocopter as an HSD Partner
As of December, Zerocopter has joined the Security Delta (HSD) security cluster as a premium partner. The company runs a security platform backed by ethical hackers. To learn more about the company’s activities and ambitions in the field of security, we spoke to Erik Ploegmakers, CEO of Zerocopter, in his Amsterdam-based office.
How would you describe Zerocopter’s activities?
Online security isn’t just about implementing smart technology, it is also about including the right people, gathering insider intelligence, and the ability to align all these processes towards one goal - being secure. That is why Zerocopter is providing instant access to security expertise and tools through a marketplace that is connecting ethical hackers to businesses all over the world. The Zerocopter marketplace aims to make security more accessible, by allowing companies to customise a fast and reliable solution according to their needs. A collective effort that will easily strengthen everyone’s security, especially because it is done by ethical hackers who understand how the mind of a hacker works.
What is the main reason you wanted to become a premium partner of HSD?
There’s a personal element to it for me. I enjoy being involved with HSD, and I thought it was important to be a part of the community. I don’t think there’s another community in the Netherlands of this same scale. We also decided to become a premium partner since HSD is more active on a national level. As an Amsterdam-based company it would have been a little strange being part of a cluster mostly in the Hague, so it feels like the right time now.
What are you hoping premium partnership will bring Zerocopter?
On one hand, we are looking for businesses we can learn from. HSD is involved in many international initiatives, and that’s something we are very interested in as well. We’re also looking for access to talent. Zerocopter is growing rapidly, and we’re always looking for security talent, which is something HSD can help with.
What do you think Zerocopter adds to the cluster by becoming a partner?
Zerocopter is sort of a meeting place for security experts. We offer them a platform to get in touch with companies that require their services, and vice versa. Businesses looking for ethical hackers can find them through Zerocopter. We offer what is essentially a marketplace model for hackers and businesses to find and get in touch with each other. It’s a model that is not very widespread in the security world yet, sort of a crowdsourcing approach.
What do you view as the biggest challenge within the domain of security?
The biggest challenge is the increasing demand for security solutions, while the supply isn’t increasing at that same level. More and more companies are looking for answers for their security, but finding a solution can be challenging, especially within a reasonable timeframe. This is a problem Zerocopter is trying to solve, by allowing companies to search for people with expertise in a specific field through our platform and contacting them so you can get to a solution way faster. We want to make security more accessible and demystify it a bit. Cybersecurity solutions don’t always require months to find and a hundred thousand euros investment.
Are you looking for specific collaborations within the HSD cluster?
Absolutely! One of the things we are planning on doing is distributing security technology through our platform. For example, we’ve been talking to a French company that made some cool technology, but they don’t know how to get it to potential customers. So aside from offering ways of getting in touch with ethical hackers, Zerocopter serves as a marketplace to get security software solutions into the hands of companies that need them.
Secondly, we are frequently asked to test technology for our customers. A handful of hackers will examine their product, and a certain need will arise, such as a roadmap or monitoring service. These are all things we don’t provide, but a partnered company could. On the side of suppliers, it’s often similar that a customer will be offered a product or service without being certain that they need it. By working with trusted partners to provide both advice and a product, we are a fully digital solution for all things security.
How do you increase visibility for Zerocopter without a traditional sales model?
In a sense we do two things: we provide hackers with engaging work for interesting companies, and we provide companies with really great hackers. For hackers, we look for creative ways to engage them, such as visiting conferences, or even making our own brand of coffee to send them. For businesses, we rely on digital marketing and our unique way of doing business. We want companies to find a solution through our platform and think ‘I need this, I want to get a subscription’. Possibly a month of free trial before that even.
We do things in a very different way. We don’t send an account manager for an intake so you can get to a solution in six weeks, we want to get you there as soon as possible. The minute you decide you need something we offer; you can have access to it. Our platform is aimed at taking care of all the mundane parts of the work, so hackers can do the brilliant things they do, whenever they want.
How would you describe Zerocopter’s main mission statement?
Our personal goal is to make security accessible, and faster. We want anyone to be able to get an answer to the question ‘am I vulnerable?’ in a handful of minutes when you’ve read an online article about a new threat. I want anyone with that question to go onto our platform, ask that question for a small fee, and have their answer within 10 minutes.
If they do turn out to be vulnerable, they should immediately be in touch with someone that can help them as well. You won’t get an expensive report of a few hundred pages with an accountant's stamp, something that many businesses don’t need. Additionally, I believe this will make for much more engaging work for ethical hackers as well. Being able to immediately share results with a client without needing to type a hundred pages will make them happier as well.