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What is Bug Bounty?

With remote work as the new standard, organizations need to augment their security testing teams and secure their distributed workforces in order to enable normal business operations by minimizing security risks. Bug bounty is one way to do that. What is bug bounty? From large enterprises to government agencies, Bug Bounty programs are used in addition to traditional, check-list based penetration tests for their access to a diverse skill set, pay-for-results model, and potential for ongoing testing. While traditional pen testing is often used to achieve compliance, these programs and bug bounty competitions pay cash rewards to ethical hackers, otherwise known as security researchers, for finding and reporting weak points and bugs in the software. Researchers provide security teams with reports on how attackers could penetrate through their security systems.


Why Bug Bounty Isn’t Enough

Before engaging with unvetted bug bounty hackers, organizations need to be well-informed of the benefits of a comprehensive crowdsourced platform and the potential risks of working with the wrong crowd.

Without proper crowd standards, quality assurance, or technical controls and management, hack bounty programs can introduce unwanted risk and operational burden into an organization. In a typical cyber security bug bounty program, there could be thousands of participants of both qualified and unqualified hackers, generating noisy results of varying quality. As mentioned, one of the key benefits of bug bounty is the access to more researchers, and thus more vulnerabilities. However, organizations often fear an influx of vulnerabilities and lack of resources to appropriately manage and triage even the valid vulnerabilities. Behind every critical vuln, there are numerous false positives and low-quality vulnerabilities to sift through as well. Furthermore, it can be daunting managing communication with a crowd of hackers. Synack offers a high-level of control, quality, and insight that is not as accessible in traditional open bounty bug programs.