Hack The Box has recently reached a couple of amazing milestones. We hired our 100th employee, and we’ve surpassed 670,000 HTB Community members. We’ve a very young tech company, founded in 2017 by CEO Haris Pylarinos. 2021 is our best year ever, as more people than ever are using our platform to improve their hacking skills, train employees in their own companies, and recruit cybersecurity professionals.
I only joined Hack The Box earlier this year, for the purposes of managing our new blog. I’m Kim “Crowgirl” Crawley, employee number 98, if you’re curious. But even in the months since I started working here, I can feel the warmth and camaraderie of this amazing group. The trajectory of our growth is skyrocketing. We’re now a global leader in cybersecurity training, and organizations including Electronic Arts, NortonLifeLock, NVISO, and Siemens work with us to improve information security in their businesses. We pioneered the online gamified penetration testing training market, and our competitors are simply replicating our concept.
I thought it would be great to share insider views from Hack The Box (HTB) to see how we feel about our success. On our tenth and twentieth anniversaries in 2027 and 2037, we can enjoy this blog post as a time capsule.
Here are some inside statistics of how quickly Hack The Box has grown in such a short time.
July 2020 - 51
July 2021 - 100
July 2020 - 350,000
July 2021 - 670,000
July 2021 - 242,000, less than a year after it launched!
July 2020 - 30,000
July 2021 - 90,000
I asked Haris for his views on our amazing recent milestones. He was here from the very beginning, you know.
Kim “Crowgirl” Crawley: We’d really like to celebrate our recent milestones at Hack The Box. One hundred employees, and over 670,000 HTB Community members are incredible achievements. When you founded Hack The Box, could you see this day coming?
Haris “ch4p” Pylarinos: Nothing resembling HTB today is anything I could have imagined when I started it. HTB was a fun project I decided to code because it was something I would like to have available to upskill my hacking skills. It took me around two months to code and create the content. My “success criteria” at the time was to see it being used and enjoyed by people with similar mindsets, getting to know them, and also to exchange knowledge so we all become better in the process.
When we hit our first thousand users I was amazed, and on our first 10K users I thought “okay, there can't be many more hackers, we are probably going to see a slowdown in new user registrations.” Although, eventually I realized that the global hacker community is huge, and now growing at an even faster rate (which is awesome).
I definitely didn’t see that day coming when I founded HTB, although I am humbled to see my project grow beyond any initial expectation, and I am excited with the realization that this is just the beginning.
Crowgirl: Do you have any thoughts about how quickly Hack The Box has grown in four years?
ch4p: I am pretty confident that the reason HTB grew that fast is because of its people. Our people were initially community moderators, transitioning into full-time employees after our first investment round. What makes us stand apart is that we are hackers, and even today, with more than 100 employees, we still hire the people that show us that they share the same mindset, the hacker mindset, that is deeply rooted in our DNA.
To give some context on the word “hacker”, I consider many people hackers even if they don't know how to use a computer, it's all about finding solutions where other people simply say “it’s impossible.”
Aris Zikopoulos works in HTB’s executive leadership as our Chief Commercial Officer. He has played an important role in HTB’s growth as a company from the start. We’re still an online community of hackers helping hackers, but now we’re also a well-known business and brand in the cybersecurity industry. Aris has an inside view of how Hack The Box’s growth has boomed.
Crowgirl: Hack The Box is celebrating a couple of amazing milestones. We now have 100 employees, and over 670,000 Hack The Box Community members. You’ve guided Hack The Box’s growth from the beginning. So as our CCO, how do these milestones feel to you?
Aris: It feels really great. I am so happy about our current achievement, and eager for the next. It is a team effort, hard work and the natural evolution of doing things the best way you can. It’s by choosing the right partners and people. It’s by using the experience you have from previous jobs and situations. Keeping morale and equality among the team and being there to discuss and support every hard decision.
Crowgirl: Back when you started, could you have imagined that we would have accomplished so much by now?
Aris: I believed in the idea of Hack The Box from the very beginning. I wouldn’t leave a career to start a startup in the first place. As we started building the platform and we were shaping things, this became even clearer. The first subscription, the first enterprise service, the first partnership. Our community still is our fuel engine. All those years, it’s a give and take (tango) situation. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing things without all the talented people among us. Keeping communication lines open is a must. That transparency is also part of C-level (corporate executive) chemistry. After all those years, I couldn’t remember a situation where we strongly disagreed on anything.
Crowgirl: Do you have any further thoughts?
Aris: After the 100 employee milestone, the task now is to keep the culture of the company strong, to deliver quality products at the same speed as we did when we were 10 employees. There is a long road ahead, with great goals, and plans to innovate and make Hack The Box the ‘one stop shop’ for almost every cybersecurity training service out there.
So as we recently passed the 100 employee milestone, I thought it would be great to speak to HTB employee number one, and HTB employee number 100. All Hack The Box employees are equally important when it comes to our success. These numbers simply indicate the chronological order in which they joined the company. Just so there’s no confusion!
Natassa “enef” Fatourou was hired in 2019 as our first employee. She’s our Inside Sales Executive.
Crowgirl: How does it feel to be HTB's first employee?
Enef: Absolutely amazing. Being the first employee at a rapidly growing startup is one of the best experiences in my life. First of all, the feeling that you are a member of a family is real here. And it’s wonderful to know that every member of this family has the same goal. To create something special.Furthermore, the incredible amount of knowledge you gain from being the first employee, plus the satisfaction of seeing HTB grow and expand so rapidly, makes me feel so grateful. And I’m lucky that I had the opportunity to work here and experience this journey from the first day (that we started having full time staff.)
Marshall “Tr33” Livingston is our most recent employee, employee number 100! He works in the position of Sales Engineer.
Crowgirl: How do you feel about HTB’s recent milestones?
Tr33: I am thrilled to be the number 100 employee with HTB. Regardless of the number, I am so glad I get work alongside those that I have learned from over the years. I feel blessed with the opportunity to give back to a company and community I value immensely.
I work closely under the direction of Daphne “dafd” Deiktaki, our Head of Marketing. Although my work is focused on our blog, she does a lot of important work on our blog behind the scenes. Her work is crucial to our success.
Crowgirl: How do you feel about HTB’s recent milestones?
Daf: it's honestly thrilling and extremely fulfilling. I joined as employee number 27 back in December 2019. I knew it was a fast-growing company and an amazing career opportunity but I couldn’t imagine the growth to come next. I feel inspired every day by my coworkers, the projects we are working on, our amazing community members, and our mission to make cybersecurity training accessible to everyone. On to even more members! The future looks bright and I am truly proud of being a “HackTheBoxer”.
Nikos “nfou” Fountas is our Director of Operations. He’s been doing the crucial behind the scenes work of making sure Hack The Box provides hackers and the tech industry with excellent programs since 2019.
Crowgirl: How do you feel about our recent milestones?
nfou: I am feeling excited and hungry for more! When I joined HTB in March 2019, I knew that it would be a massive success. That’s because of the value that it brought to the cyber community, the innovative aspects of gamification, and community. But also the great winning vision of our founders. I personally led the recruitment efforts for the first 50 or so employees, and the other 50 as Head of Business Operations. I am so proud to see them growing as professionals and getting HTB where it is today. We have created one of the best, most versatile, and diverse teams in the world. We always have our original hacking and fun culture on our minds. I look back to this crazy ride, and I feel so honored and accomplished for what we have done together. And I’m excited for what’s coming next. We have so many ideas and innovations in our minds, and we just can’t wait to get them started! The best is yet to come.
Giacomo “jackb” Bertollo is focused on HTB’s growth marketing strategy. He keeps HTB engaged on social media, and he also plays a crucial role in keeping an internet-based company active on the internet in general. We live on the internet. You found out about HTB on the internet. And if you’ve discovered HTB in the past several months, you’ve got “jackb” to thank. On his behalf, you’re welcome!
Crowgirl: How do you feel about our recent milestones?
jackb: They are both huge milestones for Hack The Box. We always need to remember that HTB was born just four years ago, and it is incredible how much the team achieved in such a short period of time. Our community is growing and glowing because hackers around the world are hungry for knowledge. Plus more and more people are approaching the cybersecurity industry starting from zero or a limited skillset. I am really excited about what has been done until now. But on the other side, I am sure the best things will come in the near future! Can't wait to welcome another 100 HTBers.
As I mentioned, I Kim “Crowgirl” Crawley am employee number 98, and my job is to run our blog. Could I interview myself? Why the heck not!
Crowgirl: As a recently hired HTB employee, how do I feel about our recent 670,000 HTB Community members and 100 employees milestones?
Crowgirl: I have been researching and writing about all areas of cybersecurity for over a decade. I’ve learned so much working for major tech brands like AT&T, Venafi, and BlackBerry Cylance. Penetration testing, otherwise known as “ethical hacking”, has always been one of my interests.
Since I heard of Hack The Box a couple of years ago, I always thought they looked like a pretty cool company. I love how hacker culture and the hacker mindset is central to their brand, and I know HTB has helped many people to start successful hacking careers, while helping businesses find top cybersecurity talent and train their staff.
In early 2021, I was asked by people who work for Hack The Box to contact them about their new blog manager position. I was working full time for a different tech company, but I absolutely had to apply for the Hack The Box job. Working for such an important brand in cybersecurity training, one that truly understands hacker culture, was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass. When I found out a few weeks after my first interview that I got the job, I was ecstatic. Managing our blog is now a full time passion for me. I’ve gotten to know the HTB team very well, and it’s truly a great company to work for. We all collaborate really well together. I’ve made a lot of new friends here. It’s great to watch Hack The Box’s explosive growth from the inside. I know I’ll be working here for the many years to come, and I expect Hack The Box to grow even more.
Everyone at Hack The Box is a part of an exciting hacker community, whether you’re a part of our HTB team or one of our many HTB Community members who use our platform to learn and benefit your careers. So, please join us!
You can also find other great employers through our infosec careers service. Join our HTB Community, it’s free!