Hello HackerOne community! I’m Amanda Berger and I’m thrilled to be joining the HackerOne team and begin empowering our global customers to build a safer internet.
I’m no stranger to security. Between 2009-2015, I was VP at a company that built technical solutions for endpoint security and malware detection. I loved security, but I was drawn in a new direction to focus on customer success in retail and e-commerce.
When this opportunity at HackerOne — one that combined my customer success career and passion for security — came up, I jumped at it.
Why I Joined HackerOne
HackerOne’s leadership team is second to none. They’ve built a culture of disclosure and integrity in a market ripe to be disrupted. And while this absolutely played a factor in my decision to come aboard, I joined HackerOne for two reasons:
1. To feel good about my work
Diversity is in HackerOne’s DNA — our business model depends on it. Hackers come from across the globe, from all walks of life, and they bring perspectives reflective of their unique journeys to hack for good. Many of these individuals might not otherwise have opportunities like this locally. For me, working hard is worthwhile if I can empower people to change their lives. At many companies, it’s possible to make a difference like this for one person, but through HackerOne there’s an opportunity to change lives on a much larger scale.
2. To make the digital world safer
Security isn’t a fringe topic anymore, it’s a major agenda item for every executive board. No matter what industry you’re in, you can’t safely get on with what you do best until you’ve got a strong security program. For me, hacker powered security is exciting because it works directly to make the digital world a safer place.
There are plenty of companies that have a strong mission and values, but few that rally behind them so strongly as HackerOne. The mission at HackerOne is clear and salient, and it resonates with me.
Making HackerOne Core to the CISO Playbook
The #1 thing I want to do is help make HackerOne a strategic component of the CISO playbook. The HackerOne community is among the highest value tools at a CISO’s disposal, and I want our customers to gain maximum return from our services.
There are several steps to achieve that:
1. Find out what success looks like for customers and build programs around that. We have an opportunity to look beyond individual programs to see how HackerOne plays into our customers’ larger strategy. For me, that means uncovering their biggest challenges so we can find a way to help.
2. Meet customers right when they join. Right at the start of a relationship, customers are more forthcoming about their hopes, goals, and roadmap. That’s the ideal time to start a meaningful conversation and find out where we can help them achieve their objectives.
3. Continue the conversation at the executive level. Security isn’t a technical function anymore, it’s a business need. The consequences of exploits aren’t just measured in downtime any more, they’re measured in the billions of dollars lost and sometimes result in CEOs being shown the door. To really cement HackerOne as a strategic security resource, we must elevate the discussion to the highest level.
Building a World-Class Team of Leaders
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is to be authentic. Early on, I felt I had to be a different version of myself at home and at work . It took me years to realize that approach didn’t serve me—and it didn’t serve my team. One thing I try to communicate when I’m building and coaching a team is to be your true self all the time. If you do that, you’ll be a happier and stronger leader and can better serve your team and your customers.
At HackerOne, I have an opportunity to help people figure out who they are as a peer and as a leader. The first part of that is taking a close look at everything we need to achieve as a team, and the existing roles and team members we have. From there, together we can identify opportunities for people to stretch into the roles we need and in the direction they strive to grow.
This is one of my favorite things to do as a leader—to help my team advance and develop.
First Things First
I have a huge task ahead of me: getting to know our customers inside out, so the HackerOne team can serve them better and better as time goes on.
I’ve made a start in my first few weeks and am excited about the direction we’re heading. If you’re a HackerOne customer, I hope we’ll speak soon.