Penetration testing has become a best practice for vulnerability assessment over the past two decades, but in recent years we’ve seen this traditional security assessment method falls short. The application development process is speeding up and data breaches continue to increase in severity and frequency. Running pen tests alone are no longer sufficient for effective risk reduction.  

There are many different reasons why this is happening – the most common challenges include:

  • Traditional penetration testing is usually performed by one or two people using a standardized methodology. It is unrealistic to expect that this approach will be able to find the most serious app vulnerabilities given the vast number of adversaries.
  • Traditional pen tests are periodic “point-in-time” exercises. With today’s agile DevOps environment, applications are constantly changing and being updated, so testing once or twice a year will leave new app code untested for months.
  • Pen test results lack true insight into actual risk and are hard to action. The typical output is a long report of potential vulnerabilities, requiring developers to sift through thousands of findings with no context or remediation advice.
  • Pen tests are not cost-effective. Due to the incentives, pen testers focus on quantity, not the quality of results.

To help alleviate these pain points, many new application security best practices and testing methods have emerged to keep up with attacks. Crowdsourced security is augmenting traditional pen testing, introducing a more effective and efficient way to reduce risk at the application layer. Services such as bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programs leverage human intelligence at scale to deliver rapid discovery of high-risk vulnerabilities across attack surfaces such as web front-ends and APIs.

So why choose a bug bounty program? Because these programs build a partnership with the world’s best security researchers to assess overall risk. Bug bounty programs incentivize white hat hackers to hunt for more difficult, high priority vulnerabilities for companies to remediate, delivering much better ROI than traditional pen testing.

With bug bounty programs, organizations have the constant coverage necessary in today’s modern software development life cycle (SDLC). A bug bounty program can be time-matched with the deployment of target applications. They also provide integrations with internal systems like JIRA or vulnerability management software. With powerful APIs and integrations, bug bounty programs align security with the DevOps process.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bugcrowd’s Bug Bounty Programs, click here and talk with a bug bounty expert today!