10010101 101110 11001 001 101 0111 101101 01101


Enjoy our additional free content from our channel

Don't start a Bug Bounty Program

Rethinking Bug Bounty Programs: 7 Points of Consideration

While bug bounty programs have gained immense popularity and can undoubtedly be an asset to your appsec strategy, they might not be the silver bullet solution for every organization or scenario. Let's discuss seven reasons why you might want to reconsider or delay launching a bug bounty program.

1. The Magic Solution Myth

Thinking of a bug bounty program as a way to get cheap or free labor and save on your pentesting budget? Time to rethink. Launching and maintaining these programs involves significant planning, resources, and attention. They're not just an avenue for trading 'internet points' for vulnerabilities.

2. Resource Allocation

A successful bug bounty program requires dedicated personnel, appropriate technology, and ample time. Even with platforms to assist in vulnerability triaging, the journey from bug confirmation to its remediation is a long and intricate one. Direct access to developers isn't a panacea, and many companies have found this out the hard way.

3. Internal Management Pitfalls

Attempting to manage everything in-house without utilizing a dedicated bug bounty platform can be more challenging than you anticipate. Navigating the high noise-to-signal ratio without specialized tools can be a daunting task.

4. Cannot Supplant Pentests

A bug bounty program is reliant on external researchers. If their interests wane or shift, you might find yourself with a coverage gap. Traditional pentesting, being a systematic approach, guarantees coverage of your entire application environment irrespective of external factors.

5. Planning in Isolation

Launching a bug bounty program without liaising with other teams can be a recipe for chaos. It's pivotal to include all relevant teams – from engineering and support to legal – to ensure the initiative is well-coordinated. Also, alerting SAAS providers or entities utilizing your domain's subdomain can prevent unforeseen complications.

6. Existing Bug Backlog

If your team is already overwhelmed with a backlog of bugs from internal reports, diving into a bug bounty program might amplify the problem. External researchers don't just want to find bugs; they want to see resolutions. Ensuring you have mechanisms and SLAs in place to handle bug remediation is key.

7. Simply Not Ready

If your organization lacks a defined scope or processes to handle out-of-scope reports, it might be prudent to postpone your bug bounty endeavors. Make sure you're equipped to manage and coordinate fixes effectively.

Wrapping Up

These points are not to dissuade you from bug bounty programs but to emphasize the need for a thorough understanding and preparation before embarking on such a journey. Adequate planning and understanding will only enhance the effectiveness and value of these programs.