25 Jan Bug Bounty Courses & Certifications
Bug bounty programs may sound like an odd Shark Tank pitch to capture insects or the alternative universe for Dog the Bounty Hunter. But in all seriousness, they are becoming one of the most essential cybersecurity industries.
They are a popular method for organizations to identify and fix vulnerabilities in their systems. In these programs, organizations reward individuals for finding and reporting these vulnerabilities. In January 2023, Google paid $22k to two hackers to find flaws in their various cloud projects.
Courses and certifications are the best way to gain the knowledge and skills needed to participate in the programs and earn their rewards. Because of how fast this industry is growing, a wide variety of bug bounty courses and certifications are available to individuals interested in joining. These courses and certifications cover a large variety of topics, such as penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and exploit development. The cost, duration, and difficulty level may vary between options.
Here we will cover the options and provide information for individuals to decide the best route!
Bug Bounty Courses for Beginners
For individuals with little to no experience in bounty hunting, a variety of beginner-level courses are available.
Of course, these types of courses are designed for individuals without experience, so no prerequisites are usually required to enter. Their differences lay in: web or mobile application security, costs, duration, and online vs. in-person class format.
Web Security & Bug Bounty Course at ZTM
Overview: This comprehensive and up-to-date course aims to take students from absolute beginners to becoming web security experts and earning money as bug bounty hunters. Taught by industry experts with real-world experience, students will practice techniques and methods used by bug bounty hunters. Students can choose to learn at their own pace with two paths provided (for those who do not know how to code and those who already know how to code).
Pros: The course allows anyone with any experience to learn web security and bug bounty hunting. It is perfect for those who like projects and practicing their skills. This course offers a live online community classroom for those who enjoy the classroom structure but want to be online.
Cons: This class is not something to relax with, and you must be proactive.
Cost: Subscription-based from $40 a month to a one-time payment of $999 (use promo code GOGET10 to receive 10% OFF).
A Complete Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Bundle Course For Beginners
Overview: With thousands of hours of content, professional instructors, and global connections, Ethical Hackers Academy offers students with the absolute best. Their ethical hacking course is loaded and covers everything a beginner needs to know to about ethical hacking.
Pros: Over 27 hours of content; 600+ topics covered.
Cons: Truly one of the best—who needs negativity?
Cost: $79 (use promo code GOGET to receive 10% OFF)
Overview: BugCrowd produces a video series for both beginners and intermediates to learn how to hack and get into bug bounty hunting.
Pros: You do not need to sign up for the videos. You can take your time with each of them. They also give out resources to other people so students can learn more about their specific fields and network with huge names in the industry.
Cons: It is an ongoing process of adding more modules and articles to the “university” platform, so students may need to wait for more content.
Overview: Through a free online class, beginners can learn the basics of online security vulnerabilities for both web and mobile platforms. This includes how to find and handle these vulnerabilities and learn how to apply security applications.
Pros: It is an entirely online class where they add new modules monthly for you to complete at your own pace. They also have a great community space for you to talk with others on Discord. Even if you have previous knowledge, beginners can gain valuable skills.
Cons: HackerOne provides only a little outside of this class. If you wish for more, they suggest you connect with people in the Discord Community.
Uncle Rat’s Web Application Hacking And Bug Bounty Guide
Overview: Uncle Rat teaches students the methods of bug bounties and show you a couple attack methods.
Pros: This is an online training taught by an experienced bounty hunter.
Cons: It requires that students have background in basic web communication. It is also more focused on “attack” techniques, which may be a pro to this course if students are looking to acquire those specific skills.
Cost: Udemy subscription or $94.99
Overview: This is an interactive online platform with areas designed for resources, community, or self-learning. It is more about networking and learning basics.
Pros: They turn bug bounty training into an experience where BARKER gives you blind challenges. They also have challenges and resources where you can learn the basics.
Cons: To access more content, those interested will need to buy a membership.
Cost: Free or buy a membership for more opportunities
PortSwigger Web Security Academy
Overview: PortSwigger is a web security company that delivers a wide range of tools and resources for web application security testing. This course offers a variety of resources for individuals and organizations interested in improving the security of their web applications.
Pros: The website runs a wide range of resources, including documentation, tutorials, and training materials. It also includes information on the latest web application security threats and vulnerabilities, as well as best practices for mitigating them.
Cons: Some of the resources and tools offered on the website may be too advanced for individuals with limited web security knowledge. The website is also more focused on web application security.
Cost: Students need to just create an account.
Defend the Web
Overview: This newly published website produces several levels students can work their way through to learn security skills.
Pros: It provides articles, videos, and platforms for students to learn these skills.
Cons: The website is designed for students to take control of the pace of their learning and is more about self-learning than a traditional course. Of course, this could work for those who need a slower and/or free timeline.
Overview: This interactive website offers resources and training for ethical hacking and penetration testing. Most of their courses cover vulnerability types such as: cross-site scripting, clickjacking, and file upload vulnerabilities.
Pros: They also offer a wide range of resources focused on ethical hacking and penetration testing. Intigrit updates frequently and has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
Cons: Some beginners might feel overwhelmed.
Intro to Bug Bounty Hunting and Web Application Hacking
Overview: This course through Udemy introduces students to the concept of bug bounty.
Pros: This is a comprehensive course designed for beginners and is completely self-paced. It is also taught in a traditional teaching method with quizzes and assignments to help students test their understanding of the material.
Cons: As an online course, it does lack the hands-on experience that can come with in-person classes. Being a self-paced course, it is not as structured as a traditional classroom.
Cost: Udemy subscription or $94.99
Bug Bounty Certifications for Beginners
Certifications are also available for beginners and do not require prerequisites.
These certifications are a great starting point for gaining knowledge and skills in bug bounty programs. They also allow individuals to show their skills in a particular field. Like beginner-level courses, these certifications will vary in their focus, cost, duration, and format. Certifications can often help in job hunting and career development.
Certified Bug Hunter through HackTheBox Academy (CBH)
Overview: The HTB Certified Bug Bounty Hunter certification is a course that aims to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to become successful bug bounty hunters.
Pros: The course materials are designed by experienced cybersecurity professionals and are regularly updated to reflect the latest techniques and tools. The course makes available hands-on experience through practical exercises and lab simulations.
Cons: This certification exam may be challenging as it requires time and effort. The website may not be accessible in all regions, and their support is limited.
Junior Penetration Tester (eJPT)
Overview: This certification aims to offer individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to perform penetration testing. It also gives the materials to prepare for the certification exam.
Pros: The course materials are designed by experienced penetration testers and are regularly updated to reflect the latest techniques and tools. The course provides hands-on experience through practical exercises and lab simulations.
Cons: The certification exam may be challenging, and passing it requires considerable time and effort. However, the cost of the certification exam is not included in the course fee.
Cost: Varies based on certification level
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Overview: The bootcamp aims to offer individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to become a certified ethical hacker.
Pros: Experienced cybersecurity professionals designed the course to supply hands-on experience through practical exercises and lab simulations. This bootcamp covers a wide range of topics related to ethical hacking.
Cons: Unfortunately, the cost of the certification exam is not included in the course fee, and some people have reported that the bootcamp is not as comprehensive as other resources available in the market.
Cost: Depends on when they run the bootcamp
Bug Bounty Courses & Certifications for Intermediate and Advanced Learners
For individuals with intermediate or advanced skill levels, there are certifications and courses specifically designed for your experience level. Several courses already mentioned are designed for advanced learners as well. Like beginner options, the cost, duration, and focus areas may also vary between options. Adding more certifications and courses to advanced skill sets can push your career further and make you stand out from others.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Overview: The CISSP certification is a widely recognized industry standard for information systems security professionals and is considered a high-level certification in the field. It requires those with at least 5 years of direct full-time professional security work experience.
Pros: The CISSP certification covers a wide range of topics related to information systems security, ensuring that individuals have a broad understanding of the field.
Cons: The certification requires to renew every 3 years through Continuing Professional Education (CPE) and passing an exam every 3 years. Also, the website is not interactive and does not provide hands-on experience.
Cost: Depends on where you are located.
Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
Overview: The PEN-200 course is designed to offer individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to perform penetration testing using Kali Linux, a popular open-source operating system for penetration testing.
Pros: The course delivers hands-on experience through practical exercises and lab simulations. The course includes the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) exam, which is widely recognized in the industry as a valuable qualification for penetration testers.
Cons: The course is self-paced, requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline, and does not provide in-depth knowledge of specific tools.
Cost: subscription starts at $1599
SANS Institute’s Penetration Testing Professional (PTP)
Overview: The program is designed for professionals looking to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking, to find and remediate vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and web applications.
Pros: The program is taught by experienced cybersecurity professionals who provide hands-on experience through practical exercises and lab simulations.
Cons: The program does require a significant amount of time and effort to complete, and it is not self-paced, which may not be suitable for individuals with busy schedules.
How to Choose the Right Bug Bounty Course or Certification
Choosing the right bug bounty course or certification can be a daunting task, but you should consider the following: your skill level, career goals, budget, and preferred learning style. Researching the content covered in each course and reading reviews from past students help decide which course or certification is the best fit.
Ultimately, the goal should be to choose a course or certification that aligns with one’s career goals and learning style while also providing the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in bug bounty programs.
With the constantly growing cybersecurity industry, bug bounty programs stand out as one of the most essential tools for organizations to ensure the security of their systems. Courses and certifications are increasingly crucial to individuals to gain the knowledge and skills to become a part of this trend and celebrate the high rewards. You can earn a valuable solid foundation to begin your journey through courses and certifications.
For further learning and resources, join online communities, participate in hackathons, and always stay up to date on industry developments. This will help you stay current in the field of bug bounties and make you a valuable asset to the industry.