In recent years, organizations have launched bug bounty programs to identify and fix vulnerabilities in their applications. The bug bounty program allows ethical hackers to check if an organization’s applications have security issues.
Bug bounty programs enable independent security researchers to expose vulnerabilities or find backdoors in a company’s IT infrastructure and get fair compensation for the information given.
The terms and conditions of bug bounty programs may vary from organization to organization. For example, some companies may even announce an “open season,” allowing ethical hackers to test the strength of the organization’s infrastructure thoroughly. Or they can limit the review to a single application or page and specify the types of vulnerabilities researchers can test. For example, searching for cross-site scripting vulnerabilities is allowed, but denial-of-service attacks are not allowed.
Once a vulnerability is discovered, an ethical hacker sends a report to the organization, often through a different platform. The organization then contacts the white hat hacker, checks for the vulnerability patches it, and tests to see if the fix works correctly.
The lucky bug hunter receives a well-deserved reward when all checks are passed. The reward amount usually depends on the severity and impact of the vulnerability.
Benefits of the Bug Bounty Program
Bug bounty schemes are gaining popularity in both the public and business sectors. Participation in such programs provides organizations with several different benefits.
Enhanced Vulnerability Detection
The main benefit of a bug hunt program is that an organization identifies and fixes several vulnerabilities in its applications. The outcomes can be disastrous if a cybercriminal discovers and exploits vulnerabilities before a business can repair them.
With a bug bounty program, an organization has a better chance of identifying vulnerabilities before they are exploited in actual attacks. As a result, the program allows you to protect the company’s reputation and reduces the likelihood of serious hacks.
Bug bounty programs allow participating companies to save significant amounts of money in many ways. Paying a bug bounty, for example, will cost significantly less than correcting a cybersecurity problem caused by the same vulnerability. While reward amounts can vary greatly, even the largest rewards are often an order of magnitude smaller than the consequences of a hack, which can lead to data breaches, production shutdowns, and even company bankruptcy.
Organizations participating in a bug bounty program only pay researchers if they identify a security flaw. This is much more profitable than paying for the same level of security testing in-house or through contractors. Specialists’ labour will be paid hourly, whether or not they discover vulnerabilities.
Access to unique talents
Bug bounty schemes enable an organization to gain access to talent that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find and keep within the business. Many participants in the bug bounty program are highly qualified and specialize in identifying vulnerabilities.
Ethical hackers participate in bug bounty programs as they regularly offer huge rewards to experienced researchers. It is expensive to hire such researchers. Their experience and knowledge require high wage costs. Through the bug bounty program, an organization can conduct vulnerability testing with a large number of ethical hackers with various skills, which is impossible with traditional penetration testing or vulnerability scanning.
Realistic threat simulation
Making ethical hacking and vulnerability assessment realistic and feasible is one of the most difficult issues. After all, the organization wants to find and eliminate vulnerabilities that attackers can most likely exploit.
The group pays bug hunters to act like attackers through the bug bounty program. Ethical hackers and cybercriminals have roughly the same level of company knowledge and access to its systems. As a result, vulnerability evaluations conducted by bug hunters are more likely to be accurate.
Make the most of bug bounty programs
Bug Bounty programs are designed to identify vulnerabilities in company systems in real-time. However, if an organization and its developers do not learn from their mistakes, the rewards for mistakes can be repeated as ethical hackers keep finding the same vulnerabilities.
As a result, for bug bounty programs to have the greatest impact, developers must learn from their mistakes. Developers should be trained well to teach them to recognize and correct the mistakes they make when writing code. The number of vulnerabilities will decrease as developers increase their knowledge and skills in safe programming, resulting in decreased application security expenses.