(November 18, 2023) When most kids his age were stressed about picking the right subject for their undergraduate course, then 18-year-old Trishneet Arora had already made up his mind to leave the path of formal education, and work full-time on developing his entrepreneurial venture. Already a cyber-security pro, Ludhiana-based Trishneet had designed the prototype of several platforms to protect a website from any kind of attack. He asked his father for ₹75,000 as seed money and used it to start his company, TAC Security. Providing services to many multinational enterprises and government agencies, including Reliance Industries, Central Bureau of Investigation, Punjab Police, and Gujarat Police, Trishneet’s company is currently counted among the Top 10 cyber security companies in the world.
An ethical hacker, the young entrepreneur has been featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 Asia, making him the youngest Indian to be featured on the list. “TAC Security is a friendly hacker that helps corporate companies recognise its weaknesses before the fraudulent hackers can use them adversely,” the cyber security expert explained during an interview, adding, “We focus on providing specialised services called Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing. The former helps to discover the security loopholes present in organisation’s systems but does not exploit the vulnerabilities. The latter is employed to demonstrate how damaging security vulnerabilities could be in a real cyber-attack.” Currently based out of New Mexico, the United States, Trishneet’s net worth is estimated to be around USD 5 million.
When Trishneet was just eight years old, his father bought him a second-hand computer. A curious cat, Trishneet ended up dismantling the computer. While he wasn’t able to put it back together, his father made him sit with the mechanic to understand each component and where they go to make the machine work. This incident inspired the young boy to start learning about the computer’s hardware and software, and eventually, the cyber security expert managed to hack his father’s computer in 2007.
A huge turning point in his journey came when he failed his eighth standard, and decided to teach himself the nuances of ethical hacking and cyber security. Realising their son’s potential his parents supported his decision. The rest, as they say “was history”. In about four years, Trishneet became an ethical hacker, able to hack any computer in the world. And thus began his journey of entrepreneurship. “The whole journey started with just ₹75,000 and reached this level. But it is not about achievement. Nor the destination. It is about the journey. Meeting new people and new customers, solving their problems of cybersecurity, hiring the right people and a strong leadership team, leading a profitable venture, expanding abroad… all of this has been phenomenal,” the Global Indian said in an interview.
A stellar entrepreneur
When he started his journey, many did not even know what an “ethical hacker” does. “In the beginning when I told people I am an ethical hacker, they often mistook me for a criminal. Now I am changing their thoughts hacking can be ethical,” shares the cyber security pro in an interview. Soon after he launched his company in 2013, Trishneet got an opportunity to deliver a keynote speech with former Minister of Finance, Yashwant Sinha, at a Business Relation Conference held in Gujarat. It was here that the young entrepreneur met his first clients. After listening to his speech, a few senior officials from the Gujarat Police Department asked him to organise a workshop for the crime branch personnel. Soon, he was approached by officials of the Punjab Police for similar workshops.
While Trishneet was garnering fame, his company needed funding to grow. The youngster took a huge chance in 2016 when he approached prominent investor Vijay Kedia to fund his enterprise. “After we received the funding, we increased our momentum and set up the headquarters of TAC Security in San Francisco, California. Within a few months, TAC Security had a sizeable customer base in the North American market and the team secured Fortune 500 companies through its SaaS product,” he shared.
Today, TAC Security has an impressive list of over 150 global clients and partners including the HDFC, BhartiAirtel, Reliance, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), NSDL, and various government agencies. “We are responsible for the end-to-end security assessment of all UPI-based applications and since 2017, have worked closely with the National Payments Corporation of India. TAC Security has been appreciated multiple times by NPCI for being a part of Prime Minister Modi’s “Digital India” vision,” he explained in an interview.
The author of two bestselling books, Hacking with Smart Phones and Hacking Talk with Trishneet Arora, the young cyber security pro has won several awards over the last decade, including Global Leader of Tomorrow, by St. Gallen Symposium, Fortune India 40 Under 40, and 50 most influential young Indians by GQ Magazine. In fact, filmmaker Sunil Bohra is working on a biographical film on Trishneet’s life, which is scheduled to be directed by Hansal Mehta.