Hackernoon logoThe Importance Of Bug Bounty Programs by@e.broshevan

The Importance Of Bug Bounty Programs

The global losses from cybercrimes amounted to close to $1 trillion in 2020 and are expected to rise in the coming years. A bug bounty program is one of the elements ensuring projects’ protection against cyberattacks that does not fully substitute other forms of security testing but rather supplements them. The average financial losses experienced by companies vary depending on the country where they operate but the average annual financial losses of companies vary. The U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, U.K., France, and Singapore face the biggest damage.
image

The global community has witnessed the rapid development of digital technologies for the last few years and especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The faster the business grows, the more money it accumulates and, as a result, the more lucrative target it becomes for malicious parties. It is not a suggestion, it is a rule and nobody in the information technologies industry can reject it. Hackers start applying sophisticated methods to commit cyberattacks availing the opportunities enabled by the spread of the technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and 5G. There are also organized hacker groups that act under the authority of certain states.

The average annual financial losses experienced by companies vary depending on the country where they operate but the businesses operating in the USA, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Singapore face the biggest damage. The global losses from cybercrimes amounted to close to $1 trillion in 2020 and are expected to rise in the coming years. When speaking about industries, banking, utilities, software, automotive, insurance, and high tech are the sectors of the economy that suffer the greatest losses due to cyberattacks.   

For the last few months, the world has experienced a dramatic intensification of cybercrimes against well-known brands. Let us view just some of the most discussed recent data security incidents:

The level of cyber risks existing in the world is unprecedented. Traditional security assessment tools often do not bring desired outcomes. The situation may seem desperate for innovative projects, but don’t give up! 

Just imagine the situation when a large community of high-skilled hackers works on making your product resistant to cyber threats. It is a bug bounty program, the solution to boost the security of customers’ products by inviting independent white hat hackers to look for and report on identified bugs in exchange for financial rewards.

Bug bounty program vs. security audit and penetration testing

A bug bounty program is one of the elements ensuring projects’ protection against cyberattacks that does not fully substitute other forms of security testing but rather supplements them. 

  • Timeline: a bug bounty program has a continuous nature and its duration depends solely on customers’ wishes and financial capacity while security audit and penetration testing are one-time events performed on customers’ request.
  • Specialists involved: security audit and penetration testing are performed by the internal staff of the provider while a large community of independent white hat hackers may work on identifying customers’ vulnerabilities within the scope of a bug bounty program. 
  • Financial liabilities: the company ordering a bug bounty program pays hackers for revealed vulnerabilities and determines the remuneration on its own while the price of security audit and penetration testing is set in advance by a provider of these services.

Stages and duration of a bug bounty program

Companies often suggest that a bug bounty program is a complex process and, thus, is designed to serve the needs of big companies. It is a prejudice since to order a bug bounty program a client needs to pass just a few clear stages:

  1. A customer contacts a professional platform to apply for the program;
  2. Development of a bug bounty brief and vulnerability management process
  3. Development of reward scheme;
  4. The official launch of the program.

The duration of a bug bounty program is specified by a customer and may range between a few months and even a few years. Even when clients find difficulties in completing the above-mentioned stages, the specialists responsible for the organization of these programs are ready to provide the required assistance. 

Key benefits of running a bug bounty program 

By running a bug bounty program companies can:

  • rapidly invite many specialists with different expertise to work on detecting vulnerabilities;
  • save money since they do not need to employ large internal cybersecurity staff;
  • test the security of their products between or in parallel with conducting other forms of security assessments.

Does data encryption eliminate the need for bug bounty?

Data encryption is one of the instruments to protect data from unauthorized access when stored or transmitted. Often, hackers manage to access encrypted data just by spending a bit more time to this end. A bug bounty program is a more complex measure aimed at preventing not only data theft but also the collapse of the product’s functionality due to cyberattacks. 

Where to run a bug bounty program?

Companies may run bug bounty programs on professional platforms such as HackenProof or develop their own programs and run them on their websites. Key benefits of running a bug bounty program on a professional platform for companies:

  • A large community of high-skilled white hat hackers;
  • Platform’s motivation to deliver on promises to develop a strong image in the market;
  • 24/7 assistance and support from the platform’s team.

For more information on this matter, please refer to https://hacken.io/services/data-breach-prevention-with-hackenproof/

What are the types of bug bounty programs?

Customers are free to decide whether to run a public or private bug bounty program. 

  • A public program is open to the whole community of white hat hackers registered on a professional platform 
  • A private program is limited only to the groups of hackers specified by a customer. He may select hackers either among the ones registered on the platform or invite specialists from beyond. 

Information disclosure

The platforms organizing bug bounty programs develop strict information disclosure rules that are to be followed by hackers and take measures aimed at preventing any data theft due to cyberattack or other malicious activities from outside. 

Disclaimer: This material is not sponsored by any organization mentioned in the article.

Tags

Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.