Why more and more companies are turning to bug bounties

As systems grow ever-more complex and cybercriminals grow in number and expertise, there is a growing pressure to ensure your organization is safe and secure.

But with a global shortfall of cyber-security talent expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022, finding enough bodies with the right talent to find and plug every hole in your company’s cyber defences is a constant struggle for many.

As a result, many organizations are turning to crowdsourcing. There is a growing acceptance of ethical hackers as a viable outsourcing option in a scheme known as bug bounties.


The rise of bug bounties

The concept of bug bounties – where companies invite hackers to test their systems and report discovered vulnerabilities back to the company in exchange for a reward – has been around for nearly 25 years. In 1995, Netscape launched the ‘Netscape Bugs Bounty’ program to let people find bugs in beta versions of Netscape Navigator 2.0. Rewards included up to $1000 cash, Netscape swag, and ‘bragging rights’.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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