07 Nov Bug Bounty Platforms for Ethical Hackers
Bug bounty programs are becoming a reliable and cost-effective way for companies to identify and fix vulnerabilities in their systems. By offering monetary rewards, these programs incentivize security researchers to search for bugs and disclose them responsibly and actively.
Bug bounty programs help strengthen a company’s overall security posture and enable organizations to tap into a global pool of diverse talent. This can bring a fresh perspective and lead to the discovery of unique and unexpected vulnerabilities.
But setting up and managing a program internally can be time-consuming and resource intensive. This is where specialized bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure platforms come in. These platforms provide a streamlined process for managing submissions, communicating with researchers, and rewarding successful findings.
In the below post, we’ll share 5 top bug bounty platforms for organizations to find ethical hackers.
Top Bug Bounty Platforms
Founded in 2012, HackerOne has quickly become a leader in the bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure space. With over 1,700 customer programs including the likes of GM, Uber, Spotify, and Slack, HackerOne offers a robust platform for managing submissions and rewarding researchers.
Some features of the HackerOne Bounty Platform include custom workflow triggers and intelligent pattern matching, video reporting, and API and webhooks to automate even calls and report creation. Companies can also benefit from vulnerability retesting and a simplified hacker payment processing system to reduce operational overhead.
Another popular choice for big-name companies such as Twilio, HP, and Atlassian is Bugcrowd. Launched in 2011, Bugcrowd envisions a world where no one is blindsided by cyber-attacks and security-aware processes keep pace with continuous innovation and development.
Bugcrowd curates and activates skilled security researchers from a global, diverse community to bring the right crowd to your use cases at the right time. Unlike some other bug bounty platforms, Bugcrowd doesn’t solely focus on bug bounties. For example, they provide Penetration Testing as a Service, which is enhanced by crowdsourcing in numerous ways.
Intigriti was established in 2016 with the goal to surpass traditional security testing. Now, the company is known for its innovative approach to security testing, which has positively impacted thousands of companies and individual cybersecurity professionals.
Setting up a bug bounty program on Intigriti is a breeze. Companies first define the general scope of the program, set available rewards, and adjust the rules of engagement for hackers to follow. They then have the ability to set the bounty program to be either public or private. With invite-only, companies can custom pick your security researchers.
Once you have launched the program, you will receive valuable security vulnerability reports from their researcher community. Another nice feature of Intigriti’s platform is the centralized budget reports. This allows you to keep an eye on your bug bounty budget at all times. Through the built-in dashboard, you can track payments from the initial report through payment.
Before they became entrepreneurs, Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr both worked as technical security experts for the NSA and Department of Defense. They shared a vision to change cybersecurity by melding human intelligence with artificial intelligence in order to create an innovative, practical security solution. And so, the crowdsourced security platform Synack was born.
Synack only makes customer assets available to experienced and trustworthy hackers. They open testing only to ethical hackers who have been screened and tested. Only a few applicants are accepted into the Synack Red Team, or SRT. This is by far one of their biggest differentiators and strongest selling points.
Today, more than 1,200 of the world’s most elite security researchers work on Synack. Their 5-step vetting process ensures that only the best and brightest are part of our team.
Not only does Synack’s bug bounty platform come with top talent, but it also comes with real-time analytics on testing activity, coverage and benchmarking performance. The machine-learning enabled scanner provided by Synack also freed researchers to focus more on creative tests.
YesWeHack is a security company that provides a crowdsourced platform for bug bounty programs. Ethical hackers can report security exploits and vulnerabilities on the platform, which was founded in 2015 by Guillaume Vassault-Houlière, Manuel Dorne and Romain Lecoeuvre.
The YesWeHack platform makes it easy to manage reports and rewarded researchers. Overall, it is very straightforward to use and has a well-designed user interface (UI). With one look, customers can see the status of their programs and know what needs to be reported to management.
More Bug Bounty Platforms to Consider
The above list is not a complete list by any stretch.
We narrowed it down to five platforms by considering the size of their community, additional solutions and services provided, vetting processes, and overall platform functionality.
There are dozens of other global platforms that are available. One of the best resources to keep track of these platforms is maintained on platforms.disclose.io. This website is a community-powered collection of all known bug bounty platforms, vulnerability disclosure platforms, and crowdsourced security platforms currently active on the Internet. You can also find additional information on this project on GitHub.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bug Bounty Platform?
A bug bounty platform is a web-based application that allows organizations to crowdsource security testing. By inviting independent security researchers to test their systems for vulnerabilities, organizations can identify and fix security issues before they are exploited by malicious actors.
Bug bounty platforms typically offer rewards for successful submissions, which provides an incentive for security researchers to participate. In addition, these websites often offer features such as leaderboards and public disclosure of vulnerabilities, which can help to raise awareness of security issues and encourage responsible disclosure.
Which Bug Bounty Platform is the Best?
Deciding which platform to host your bug bounty program ultimately comes down to personal preference, the size of the platform, and the level of support provided.
For hackers, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a bug bounty platform to find opportunities. The first is the size of the program, as bigger programs tend to pay higher rewards for more severe vulnerabilities.
Additionally, some platforms offer different levels of support and feedback on submitted bugs, which can make it easier for hackers to determine if they’ve found an issue worth submitting. Finally, if you’re a beginner you may want to start on a smaller platform where there is less competition and more chances to get your first bug bounty payout. But before hitting the ground running, we recommend sharpening your skills through courses, bootcamps, and other online trainings first.
There are many different bug bounty platforms available today, but in general, they all offer similar features and functionality. However, some platforms do stand out from the crowd based on their size, reputation within the security community, and level of support for both hackers and program owners.
Some of the most popular bug bounty platforms include HackerOne, Bugcrowd, Intigriti, and Synack. All of these platforms offer robust bug submission and management tools, as well as a large number of programs that hackers can contribute to. However, they also differ in terms of their size. HackerOne is the largest platform in terms of the number of programs available. And Bugcrowd is the most popular platform based on number of hackers and bug submissions.
Ultimately, the best bug bounty platform for you will depend on your preferences and goals as a hacker or business. But if you’re looking for an established, reputable platform with a large community of both ethical hackers and program owners, then HackerOne or Bugcrowd are the best options to consider.
As the cybersecurity industry continues to evolve, we recommend regularly reviewing your options for bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure platforms. Consider the platform’s features but also their community size and diversity.
The larger and more diverse a researcher community is, the higher likelihood you have of uncovering unknown vulnerabilities in your digital assets before malicious hackers do. This can save you from experiencing significant financial loss or damage to your brand-reputation due to a data breach.
In the long run, leveraging a quality bug bounty platform and crowd sourcing cybersecurity talent can save your company time and money while also keeping your digital assets secure.