October 28, 2019 Rest Easy with Topcoder’s State-of-the-Art Seven-Layered Security Program

Security is one of the top concerns today for any enterprise that has an online presence, especially when a company engages other organizations to do work that involves sensitive data or intellectual property (IP). Security and confidentiality have long been a top concern for Topcoder, the world’s largest IT talent network and digital crowdsourcing platform, and a leader in offering world-class talent for its global customer base.

Now Topcoder has expanded its Data Science and AI capability to include a seven-layered security program, along with additional offerings including Native GPU Support, Evaluation Systems, Crowd Powered Consulting, Container-Based Solution and Contest Casting. Topcoder’s Multi-Layer Privacy and Security program encompasses proprietary Topcoder methodology that protects all customer data and intellectual property and applies to all challenges that touch customer data and IP, whether housed on-premises or in the cloud. Take a look at Topcoder’s security program!

Topcoder’s Seven-Layer Security Program


Security begins with agreements. Like any other vendor handling your data, Topcoder signs an agreement with customers that sets the rules and constraints for sharing and transferring data, and any processes for disclosing it. The plan for sharing data with our membership is reviewed with stakeholders before it is shared.

Problem Break-Up

Topcoder breaks down problems into multiple, smaller challenges, rather than running a company’s problem as one big challenge,. This simple measure makes it much harder for any participant to identify the customer.


Topcoder doesn’t share the names of our customers.  Topcoder assigns one or more pseudonyms to customers and scrubs customer names from challenges and supporting material, so participants don’t have access to the customer’s identity. For added privacy, Topcoder can use different pseudonyms on a company’s various challenges, preventing participants from realizing that multiple projects are tied to the same company.

Data Obfuscation & Differential Privacy

Topcoder also ensures that unnecessary data is scrubbed from data sets. Topcoder works with customers to identify which elements of a data set can be scrubbed, and often creates a “statistical twin,” which is a fabricated data set based on the original that protects private information while remaining statistically relevant.

Topcoder’s seven-layer security program offers customizable and highly effective access to the best in data science. Learn more!Some datasets require extra attention.  Differential Privacy (DP) is an emerging technology that, in its most basic form involves adding measured noise to a data set, so that it can’t easily be compared to other data sets that could reveal real identities. DP aims to preserve the relevant relationships within the data while preventing it from being linked back to identifying information. Even anonymized data sets can be vulnerable when linked to other sets, so DP is a valuable strategy. Topcoder has led challenges with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop DP solutions and has worked to incorporate them into our standard practices.


To keep details of some projects private, Topcoder will transpose the challenge into a different location or industry, keeping the key variable relationships the same. An oil and gas problem, for example, could easily be presented as an agriculture problem and still produce a workable solution. When the community has generated a solution, Topcoder unwinds the metaphor to present accurate data back to the customer.

Private Crowd

For data that simply can’t be shared with the public, Topcoder curates a hand-picked group of contestants that sign additional privacy agreements, undergo background checks, and are vetted by the customer when desired. Sometimes it makes sense to run larger aspects of a challenge as an open competition but use a private crowd for smaller pieces that relate to sensitive information.

Direct Testing

Topcoder puts finished code through rigorous testing for viruses as well as malware. Additionally, we employ best practices to prevent security vulnerabilities. This happens through manual testing of code by trusted members of the Topcoder community and also with technology screening. Challenge winners are only paid if their code passes these screenings.

Topcoder’s multi-layer methodology is superior to others in the crowdsourcing field. Customers can be certain that the protection of their data and intellectual property is rock-solid. Find out more about Topcoder’s new Data Analytics, AI, and security capabilities by checking out our website. Additionally, you can download our new eBook, “Enterprise Data Science and Analytics.”

Clinton Bonner

VP, Marketing


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