HR technology leader’s Vice President of IT Systems and Des Moines-based teammates
bested 30 competing groups at the Chicago-based hacking conference
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — Businessolver, a leader in SaaS-based benefits administration technology, today announced a local information-security group that included its Vice President of IT Systems had an overwhelming win in the Capture the Flag hacking contest at 2017 THOTCON. THOTCON is an annual Chicago-based conference featuring speakers and hands-on activities focused on various information security and hacking topics. Capture the Flag (CTF), a yearly THOTCON highlight, pits hacker teams against each other to attack and defend computers and networks using certain software and network structures.
Tom Pohl, Businessolver Vice President of IT Systems, was a member of the Des Moines-based team SecDSM, which bested 30 others in this year’s CTF competition, held May 6. With a score of 978 points, not only was it a decisive win (the second place team was more than 100 points behind), SecDSM was one of just nine teams to score any points at all. The team was awarded a Gold Badge, giving free admission for life to THOTCON.
“Cyberattacks are a major threat to businesses today, with a single attack potentially costing a company hundreds of millions of dollars and permanently deflating customer trust. With hackers growing more sophisticated all the time, participating in competitive hacking events like CTF are one way companies can protect themselves – by literally beating hackers at their own game,” said Pohl, who’s won several prestigious hacking competitions on his own. “These challenges are a fun way to channel our team’s passion for keeping our systems secure, while sharpening our skills and bringing new ideas to the table that move our technology forward.”
Following the win, Pohl and the team have garnered not only congratulations from within the hacker community, but also interest from an agent at a federal agency inquiring about their approach to several security problems. The need for in-house information-security expertise and in-depth data protection processes is even more acute for employers following the May 12 global ransomware attack WannaCry, which crippled public and private businesses and institutions worldwide for nearly an entire day. The single piece of malware wreaked havoc on systems as complex and far-reaching as Britain’s National Health Service, which delivers healthcare coverage and services for nearly 65 million Britons at a rate of 1 million patients every 36 hours.
“The Businessolver system has proprietary security features in place to seal off cyberattacks like WannaCry and keep our customers’ private information safe,” Pohl said. “What’s great about THOTCON and similar events is that they offer a safe environment to test potential enhancements to those features, and learn from other trained professionals on what may work better. The fact that WannaCry was shut down by one lucky tech professional working on a hunch demonstrates the clear need for greater ideas testing and information sharing among those of us in the cybersecurity industry. When more of us have more information, systems everywhere reap the benefit.”
Since 1998, Businessolver has delivered market-changing benefits administration technology supported by an intrinsic responsiveness to client needs. It creates client programs that maximize benefit program investment, minimize risk exposure, and engage employees with easy-to-use solutions and communication tools to assist them in making wise and cost-efficient benefit selections. Founded by HR professionals, Businessolver’s unwavering service-oriented culture and secure SaaS platform provide measurable success in its mission to provide complete client delight.
Kristin Schmotzer, Edelman (on behalf of Businessolver)