As the digital economy rapidly expands, we will undoubtedly hear of more businesses suffering financial and reputational damage due to failures and abuses of security, privacy and trust. Motivated criminals are after customer data, intellectual property, and new product designs, among others, and cyberattacks have seen a steep rise. As per an Outseer report, businesses have reported a 21% increase in phishing attacks by fraudsters in the first quarter of 2021. Companies can no more be complacent and are now looking for security experts who can work with them more closely and identify threats quickly. In its 2020 Cyber Readiness Report compiled in collaboration with research firm Forrester, business insurance provider Hiscox highlighted that companies lost $1.8 billion to cybercrime in 2019. Companies in the energy, financial services, manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceutical sectors endured the heaviest losses. Few businesses are safe, and large companies with a substantial online presence are heavily targeted.
Vulnerability assessment has become the new requirement for businesses to grow safely without bracing the harsh impact of cyberattacks and succeed in this battle for dominance in a trust-driven, digital-first world. “I guess it’s comfortable to live in denial, thinking that if no one has succeeded to attack us yet, we’re safe. However, someday, an attack will happen, and the only way to be better prepared for this is to have your application tested. Penetration testing, certifications, etc., are essential as they provide “stamps” that we can show to our clients. However, continuous monitoring by expert hunters going through and validating every new update is critical for every business in today’s world,” says a security expert from Olvid, one of the most secure messaging app in the world.
However, the days that pentesting was the only way to help businesses identify vulnerabilities are long gone. Pentesting is outdated for various reasons – it can be expensive and complicated, increases the security threat window because of the lack of validation and exposes organisations to security risks due to the long gaps between each testing. That’s where bug bounty programs on the YesWeHack platform with several thousand ethical hackers can help your businesses stay secure. It offers both private and public programs where companies can connect to a vast community of security experts who can detect application and infrastructure vulnerabilities. The best part is bug bounty maintains an entirely transparent approach. This way, you know the expert and will receive real-time updates about the vulnerabilities.
Here are three ways bug bounty programs can give your business the much-needed security reality check.
Build Trust With Customers and Other Stakeholders
Consumer trust has become a significant battleground for achieving digital success. According to a survey by Cognizant, 91% of consumers are “concerned” or “very concerned” about data privacy. And that survey was done in 2016. Since then, more online users are aware of the risks of using the internet and many other cybercrimes. This means that businesses must redefine their data privacy and security approach to win the customers’ trust.
Companies must take proactive, not reactive and preventative, not remedial approaches while tackling security threats. Creating transparency helps you go a long way in gaining and maintaining the required trust with customers and stakeholders. Bug bounty public programs help you achieve just that and more. It allows you to submit your exposed scopes to the entire community of hunters. “The reason for our move to a public program is simple: we want to offer our users the best possible security guarantee. We now want to take advantage of one of bug bounty’s major strengths—crowdsourcing: tens of thousands of researchers bringing different skill sets and methods to test the security of our application. The more hunters scanning and attacking our app, the better it is for everyone,” adds the security expert from Olvid.
Work With a Verified and Genuine Researcher Community
With traditional pentesting, there is hardly any room to check the quality of the auditor/tester. The ones working on the project may be different from the ones showcased in the proposal. With bug bounty programs, businesses can select the best-suited hunters for their needs, offering a versatile range of skills that cover the full spectrum of testing. For instance, the bug bounty program by YesWeHack, Europe’s leading crowdsourced security platform, provides access to 25,000+ verified ethical hackers through its public bug bounty program. “We take the necessary steps to help businesses fulfil their goals and expectations. The unrestricted access to several thousand hunters helps businesses benefit in terms of identifying and anticipating potential pitfalls faster, share best practices and help clients resolve the threats faster,” says Selim, the Head of Customer Success at YesWeHack.
Bug bounty platforms provide details of each hunter who is working on resolving the threats. Apart from working with verified, genuine research communities, one of the significant ways bug bounty adds value is that hunters don’t face time constraints. The diversity in the community helps in information sharing, thereby helping businesses to gain a larger pool of hunters to work on the threats and resolve them. “I can exchange with hunters specialising in UI, others in application services, etc. Each of them brings me different, complicated things that a “non-specialised” auditor could never find. Sometimes, I think you have to be crazy to see stuff like that,” chuckled Edouard Camoin, CISO at 3DS OUTSCALE, a company at the forefront of Cloud Computing infrastructure services (IaaS).
Highlight Your Brand and Create New Business Opportunities
Businesses of all sizes are undergoing a digitalisation process, and to succeed, they will need to deliver a superior digital experience with trusted security. However, cybersecurity remains much talked about yet underleveraged as a differentiating factor on the business side. It is important to show customers and stakeholders that your products are safe and the frameworks designed and deployed have undergone a high level of security testing by experts. Tackling security threats right at the beginning can establish your business as a brand that focuses on protecting data.
By highlighting their commitment to security through a public program, organisations can seize the opportunity to move ahead and designate the security of products, production process, and platforms as a competitive differentiator. “In a broader sense, bug bounty is a competitive advantage for Outscale for the simple reason that it guarantees active security: where we once performed biannual penetration testing and periodic scans, we’re now looking for vulnerabilities continuously. And as soon as the hunter signals a vulnerability, we’re able to automatically include it in our correction cycle. Our customers are reassured, knowing that we don’t wait for updates from vendors to fix our vulnerabilities. Also, we’re able to detect and fix vulnerabilities in the products we develop in-house,” remarked Edouard.
As digital innovations make the world a faster, better, and much more efficient place to work and live, the focus is shifting towards security threats and how best to handle them. A secure platform helps businesses thrive and helps gain customers’ trust in the long run. To understand how you can maximise the return on investment (ROI) of bug bounty programs, download the eBook on “Five Reasons Bug Bounty Improves the Return on Security Investments“.
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As businesses become digitally mature, they will have to deal with the alarming increase in cyber threats. This forces conversations on data ownership, privacy, security, transparency, and trust. Find out how bug bounty drives agility and improves profits for digital businesses.
To find out more, contact one of our bug bounty experts:
Founded in 2015, YesWeHack is a Global Bug Bounty & VDP Platform. YesWeHack offers companies an innovative approach to cybersecurity with Bug Bounty (pay-per-vulnerability discovered), connecting tens of thousands cybersecurity experts (ethical hackers) across 170 countries with organizations to secure their exposed scopes and reporting vulnerabilities in their websites, mobile apps, infrastructure and connected devices. YesWeHack runs private (invitation based only) programs and public programs for hundreds of organisations worldwide in compliance with the strictest European regulations.
In addition to the Bug Bounty platform, YesWeHack also offers: support in creating a Vulnerability Disclosure Policy (VDP), a learning platform for ethical hackers called Dojo and a training platform for educational institutions, YesWeHackEDU. For more information: www.yeswehack.com