Organisations of various sizes have been putting together and hosting
bug bounties over the years. Some of these are very popular - the
participants look forward to the event on their calendars. Others, not
so much. The “hit or miss” nature of these events are sometimes a
deterrent for any new business thinking about hosting a bug bounty.
And yet it is somewhat easy to plan for success - using playbook-like
approaches and strong ownership of the process. Hasgeek has invited
showrunners of some of the most successful bug bounties to share
insights, secrets and tips which would help any business get started
with this approach. Blending talks, how tos and a panel - this is the
“get started with bug bounties” you were looking forward to
Why do you need a bug bounty program?
With emerging technologies and advancements in security, threat actors are becoming more and more refined in their approach to attacking systems and infrastructure. It is now the new normal to read news about large enterprises becoming the target of ransomware attempts and data breaches with the haul from the latter being trafficked on websites hosted on the TOR network. It is necessary to acknowledge an axiom of information security which is that we can never expect an application or service to be fully secure or invulnerable to attacks. Risks exist without regard to the degree of processes and operational protocols that may be put in place by a business or organization. And this is the reason why organizations of all sizes should attempt to be sufficiently well-prepared for the likelihood of any possible threat. As the saying goes, precaution is better than cure. It is a good practice to continuously monitor and evaluate the applications and the environment, not just internally but externally.
What is required to implement a complete security infrastructure in an organization?
An organization’s security can be designed around two approaches
- using the resources available to an internal security to run checks and audits
- complement the efforts of the in-house team with a structured program to include external experts eg. external researchers(for example - a bug bounty program)
How will an organization benefit from a Bug Bounty Program?
A bug bounty program is a pact offered by different organizations to individuals willing to find vulnerabilities in their applications and get rewarded (bounty) for the same.
Since every individual has their own strategy for finding security issues, a vulnerability that may have been missed by an internal security team can be found by an external one. This helps an organization to be proactive and see value in creating programs which attract a broader range of audiences for diverse expertise to cope with any threats that may come in the future. Once a vulnerability is reported externally, the internal team will operate and get a concept of how this was generated. This will help the team inspect a similar approach toward finding issues in the rest of the products or applications, thus enhancing the products’ security and further improving the organization’s SDLC(Software Development Life Cycle) Policies. This approach around “shifting left” will help in the design and development of secure software in the future.
Also, it makes the security team more prepared for such threats and various remediation techniques that should be taken care of, further expanding the organization’s security aspect.
Is holding a Bug Bounty Program enough?
Lack of awareness and knowledge of industry standards in security practices and assessments may make the organization susceptible to various cyber threats. Of course, it is nearly impossible to avoid any security risk; however, it reduces the chances of possible threats. Thus, while holding a bug bounty program is imperative; nevertheless, a good internal security team should always be in place.