What would you do if we told you that hacking could be ethical?
That’s right, there are positive forms of hacking that go a long way toward supporting organizations with their cybersecurity needs — and one of the most popular in 2023 is known as a vulnerability rewards program (VRP), also known as “bug bounties.”
Below, we’re digging into what these types of programs do, possible benefits you can enjoy, and frequently asked questions about the bug bounty process.
What are bug bounties?
Bug bounty programs pay skilled professionals to “break” a computer program down, bit by bit. They comb through the code to find any sort of vulnerabilities or errors that could be exploited by hackers or other dark hat types. They then receive a “bounty” per bug as a form of payment or tip. These are more formally known as vulnerability rewards programs and are used in both small-business and corporate-level settings.
What benefits can a business gain from participating in a VRP?
There are many different benefits that you can enjoy from taking part in a VRP with a skilled cybersecurity expert. We’ve listed a few below:
- Can be a more cost-effective risk protection method
- Often offers a more thorough review than internal teams can offer due to the level of specialty
- Might save hundreds or thousands of dollars in tech and support costs
- Can create a cleaner, better experience for both customers and team members.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bug bounties & VRPs
Below are some frequently asked questions about VRPs:
1. Is bug bounty profitable?
Considering using a bug bounty service? You might be paying a few hundred or thousand dollars for your overall experience. While this can be a significant cost up-front, you can rest assured knowing that your system is significantly more protected than it otherwise would be, which could increase your profits and bolster your brand image.
2. Are there challenges with bug bounty programs?
There are a few downsides to bug bounty programs. Overall, they can offer a more comprehensive and professional look deep inside your code, helping to identify potential risks that lie hidden under the “surface.” However, if an organization is somewhat new or doesn’t have the infrastructure to react to the data that’s compiled by the bug bounty hunters, it may be a wasted investment. Ensuring that you have the infrastructure and technical support needed to respond and adjust based on findings is critical to make your bug bounty operation a success.
3. Can you do bug bounty by yourself?
While you can run a similar sprint with your organization, it may not have the same overall results. When you invest in a VRP, you’re paying for professionals’ niche understanding and experience. While you can expect a certain level of skill from your team members, they may not have the same depth of knowledge in a specific area of vulnerability or dev like a bug bounty hunter would. Consider doing additional research to determine if this is a valid option for your specific needs.
Looking for additional support? Connect with the team at CHIPS today. We are here to help you create custom cybersecurity frameworks for your organization, keeping you up-to-date with the savviest strategies in risk management.