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20. Synack

Getting there before the hackers do

Founders: Jay Kaplan, Mark Kuhr
Launched: 2013
Funding: $34.2 million
Valuation: n/a
Disrupting: Penetration testing, automated tools
Rival: IBM


Jay Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of Synack
Source: Synack
Jay Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of Synack

This Redwood City, California-based company combines the best of human knowledge and know-how with cutting-edge technology to help its customers guard against debilitating cyberattacks. Synack was started in 2013 by former National Security Agency agents Jay Kaplan, CEO, and Mark Kuhr, CTO, who specialized in counterterrorism before founding the company.

Read MoreFULL LIST: 2016 DISRUPTOR 50

One of its most potent advantages over other security firms is its Red Team — a private crowd of highly-skilled ethical hackers from all over the world who can go in and prove where a customer is vulnerable before the bad guys find out. That's become a growing industry. Reports from Gartner predict the cybersecurity market will grow 10 percent a year between now and 2020 to over $170 billion.

"Nearly every aspect of our society is controlled by networked computer systems, and we are striving to make these systems secure from adversaries. One day we will make it too difficult for criminal hackers to thrive." -Mark Kuhr, co-founder and CTO

With so many businesses, big and small, desperate for a security solution that really protects them, Synack is in an ideal position and claims it has been able to increase revenue by nearly 300 percent over the past year. As a result, the company has raised $34 million in venture capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures and Greylock Partners since getting started.

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