How hacking for charity
can boost your personal development?
Security and privacy are becoming ever more important in the world. Our Risk Advisory services are being requested more often by national and international companies as well as government organizations. But we also like to use our expertise to make charity organizations a little safer.
Serra Lise Kammoun, Senior Consultant Cyber Risk Services, organizes a ‘Hacking for Charity’ evening several times a year:
‘It’s never been my dream to work for a big corporation. After law school, I thought about becoming a lawyer, but after a couple of months traveling I saw that it wasn’t the kind of challenge I was looking for. Back in the Netherlands, I was put in touch with a Deloitter through my former employer who wanted to involve me in his foundation which aimed to better prepare volunteers for their work abroad. Part of the deal was that I came to work for Deloitte.
At the time, I didn’t see Deloitte as anything other than ‘an audit firm’. But I did get the opportunity to work in a variety of disciplines, such as marketing, sales, and cyber security. I enjoyed the last one so much that I switched to the cyber team, first in sales – selling ‘hacking as a service’ – and now as Senior Consultant in the Strategy & Transformation team.
For several years, Deloitte have been organizing an Impact Day, during which colleagues volunteer to provide some kind of service to society. Within Cyber Risk, we wondered how we could use our own expertise to make a contribution. Our team members are all passionate about their work; for most of them, hacking is a way of life more than a job. So, in 2013, we began ‘Hacking for Charity’. Every two months, we invite a charity such as UNICEF to our offices. They give a presentation about their organization, we all have pizza together, and then a team of about ten hackers are let loose on their system. We investigate their infrastructure and applications, flag every risk we come across, and draw up a report. Of course, we make sure their system can still function; we don’t launch any DoS attacks.
“It’s lovely to see how grateful these organizations are, while for us it’s business as usual.”
At our Risk department, we’re paid to make organizations more secure. With ‘Hacking for Charity’, we can also help other organizations who do important work become more secure. We do this without a hidden agenda; it’s certainly no sales pitch in disguise. And although the voluntary initiative is always happening outside of office hours, it’s never difficult to find enough colleagues willing to join. They also have a professional interest; our hackers often do their testing from behind a desk, while now they can meet clients and go into detail about what they need. In addition, there is always a mix of colleagues during these evenings and it’s interesting to see how others carry out tests and what tools they use.
When we conducted a security test for War Child, we wanted to do more for the refugee crisis. We managed to raise 5,000 euros with a fundraiser and our CEO then doubled it. Deloitte’s social engagement is not the only reason I’m still working here. You regularly encounter a lot of businesses and government organizations on the shop floor and you can learn a tremendous amount from them. You can work with the newest tools and switch departments horizontally. And our team of young, highly motivated colleagues is just great. The fact that you can also give something back to society simply motivates you all the more.’
What impact will you make?
Not only Serra Lise, but every Deloitte employee is able to give something back to society. Every Deloitter can spend 1% of their hours on projects for our Deloitte Impact Foundation and choose from subjects like education, social innovation, and improving the quality of life for society. Are you looking for a job with more meaning?