Tech Founder Fabiola Munguia Sells Hacker Attacks to Companies
Cyber-attacks cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage every year. Founder and TUM School of Management graduate, Fabiola Munguia helps to protect companies with her platform: Requestee.
Having their own app or network checked for vulnerabilities by professional hackers is vital for digital business models. An effective defense against cyber-attacks is only possible if the methods of the attackers are known. Fabiola Munguia, recent graduate of the Master’s in Management & Technology, wants to help with her start-up: Requestee. She founded the start-up at the beginning of 2020, together with her fellow student and friend Grigory Emelianov, who studied in the Master’s in Management program at TUM School of Management. With her platform, she acts as a broker for “ethical pentesters” – the planned checks of IT systems by external experts.
The market for “good hackers” is complex. Besides many IT security companies, freelancers also offer their services. “Buying a pentest can be a real challenge for entrepreneurs,” says the 26-year-old, who is originally from El Salvador and has lived in Germany for eight years in a recent interview with Handelsblatt. “It’s a very traditional business where, as a client, you have to contact many providers,” the founder describes the usual procedure. “Then discussions about offers, which are sometimes very extensive, have to be held. The subsequent comparing of offers is then an ordeal that can last several weeks. Another problem is that many clients do not know which pentester is trustworthy – after all, it could be a malicious hacker who would then have access to important company data.”
Within minutes, Requestee delivers offers from audited pentesting companies to companies that wish to be attacked. Although the German Federal Office for Information Security also certifies IT security service providers, previously there was no higher-level platform such as Requestee, on which companies could post orders free of charge, use artificial intelligence to find suitable experts, and book tests immediately. Munguia is particularly proud of the matching algorithm: “It is unlike anything else in the world.” Another unique selling point: The hacker list is sorted by ratings of past customer orders, which are anonymized but verified by Requestee.
In their journey, the two students joined the “Xpreneurs” program of UnternehmerTUM, the leading center for innovation and start-ups at the Technical University of Munich. “Due to constantly increasing cybercrime, this is a rapidly growing market,” says Martin Giese, who manages the incubator and accompanies start-ups from initial idea to market-ready business model. “It was fun to work with the team because they absorbed all our content and always tested it with customers right away. Their progress is remarkable.” The founders have been independently financed so far. The next important milestone will be reached in November, says Munguia: “We will start discussions with investors.” If everything goes according to plan, the founder wants to get off to a quick start – especially with regards to the USA and Israel, the most important markets for cybersecurity. “In three years’ time, we want to be a scalable start-up and the number one pentester marketplace in the world.”
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