Security Experts:

Synack Announces New Government Solution, IRS Contract

California-based security testing company Synack today announced the launch of a new solution for government organizations and an important contract with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Synack’s new Government offering will allow federal, state and local agencies to test their systems and ensure that sensitive data and mission-critical assets are properly secured.

Synack LogoThe company’s Crowd Security Intelligence product combines human ingenuity, provided by the hundreds of experts who are part of the Synack Red Team (SRT), with the Hydra vulnerability intelligence platform. In addition to the standard features, the new Crowd Security Intelligence Federal product includes more thorough researcher vetting and other management services needed when sensitive government IT assets are involved.

“For every customer engagement, we provide customers the option of segmenting the SRT to provide an adversarial perspective that aligns with customer needs and interest areas. Customer segmentation criteria often include researcher skillsets, geographies, employment experience, and certifications,” explained Mark Kuhr, co-founder and CTO of Synack. “For government agencies, we offer the Tailored Researcher Requirement Program (TRRP) that takes this segmentation one step further to accommodate government-specific requirements for researchers, such as security clearances.”

Kuhr told SecurityWeek that while the Government offering is being launched in the U.S. first, the company is expanding quickly overseas and international government entities are expected to follow.

The company also announced a $2 million contract with the IRS to help the agency secure the entire domain and the sensitive govenment and taxpayer data it holds.

“The IRS has been extremely proactive in seeking out innovative crowdsourced security solutions,” Kuhr said. “The IRS approached Synack last spring to begin exploring how they could implement Synack's Crowd Security Intelligence within the agency. After doing a proof of concept with Synack over the summer, we recently kicked off the project this fall. The SRT has recently begun analyzing the domain.”

In the past months, the IRS has had problems with several of its online tools and the agency was forced to shut some of them down due to attacks.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced recently that Synack and HackerOne have been awarded a combined $7 million contract to help agencies launch their own bug bounty initiatives. The decision came on the heels of the Hack the Pentagon program, which helped the DoD address over 130 vulnerabilities in its systems.

HackerOne has been assigned to handle initiatives similar to Hack the Pentagon, such as the recently announced Hack the Army program, while Synack will focus on programs that cover more sensitive IT assets, where only highly vetted researchers can participate.

Related: Security Testing Firm Synack Raises $25 Million

Related: Synack Unveils Exploitation Intelligence Platform

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.