In this world, there is no such thing as perfect security.
Every app or service you use — even the websites you visit — have security bugs. Companies go through repeated rounds of testing, code reviews and audits — sometimes even bringing in third-parties. Bugs get missed — that’s life, and it happens — but when they are uncovered, companies can get hacked.
That’s where a bug bounty comes into play. A bug bounty is an open-door policy to anyone who finds a bug or a security flaw; they are critical for channeling those vulnerabilities back to your development team so they can be fixed before bad actors can exploit them.
Bug bounties are an extension of your internal testing process and incentivize hackers to report bugs and issues and get paid for their work rather than dropping details of a vulnerability out of the blue (aka a “zero-day”) for anyone else to take advantage of.
Bug bounties are a win-win, but paying hackers for bugs is only one part of the process. As is usually the case where security meets startup culture, getting the right system in place early is best.
Why you need a vulnerability disclosure program
A bug bounty is just a small part of the overall bug-hunting and remediating process.