Considering the number of cyber threats continues to increase, it is not surprising to learn a lot of companies offer bug bounty programs. Ensuring one’s online platform or service is safe from harm is the top priority for any business owner. There are quite a few benefits to running these bug bounty programs, most of which are overlooked by the average consumer.
4. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DEVELOP A BUG-FREE SOLUTION
Even the world’s best software engineers are incapable of creating online tools or platforms without flaws. Though this not a statement to bring people down, but merely a fact. Regardless of how good one is or what track record they may have, flaws will be found in any software-based project developed by humans. This is why bug bounty programs make a lot of sense, as they allow other engineers to take a look at the code and try to poke holes in its security.
After all, these software flaws make it possible for criminals to infiltrate online platforms and steal information in the process. While bug bounty programs are not cheap to maintain, the concept is a lot cheaper than having to deal with the financial repercussions after a data breach. Paying third-party researchers to “do their worst” with a company’s system has become an absolute must these days.
3. SCOUTING POTENTIAL IT EMPLOYEES
Although the main purpose of a bug bounty program is to optimize platform security, it also creates a new “pool” of potential future employees. With researchers probing the system around the clock, businesses can scout new talent and see if they would fit the company profile. Do keep in mind participating in a bug bounty program will not necessarily result in landing a new job, though. Then again, most researchers work as freelancers who are not necessarily looking forward to being tied to a specific company.
2. ENCOURAGING HACKERS TO SHARE EXPLOITS
As unusual as it may sound, bug bounty programs often attack the attention from black hat hackers as well. Although these hackers stand to gain a lot from abusing these flaws and potentially selling them to third parties, bug bounty programs offer a financial incentive that is hard to overlook. Bigger companies pay up to US$100,000 for exploits discovered by third parties.
Moreover, these programs give black hat hackers a chance to both earn money and do so in a legitimate manner. Since all payments are officially recorded according to the letter of the law, there is no “investigation” regarding these hacking practices. Not all black hat hackers want to reveal their identities for large companies, though, but quite a few of them have switched over from the dark side in the process.
1. BUG BOUNTY PROGRAMS CREATE NEW BUSINESS MODELS
Interestingly enough, the emergency of bug bounty programs has spawned a new business model. Companies have started to offer bug bounty programs-as-a-service to smaller organizations who cannot afford to run these projects due to limited budgets. Moreover, these third party service providers will accept bug submissions and validate the information before passing it along to the company in question. An intriguing business model designed to make the world of online platforms a lot safer.