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Bug Bounty and Automation make a formidable pair together

September 20, 2018

It takes more than one security tool to keep an organization or web applications secure against vulnerabilities. Bug bounty programs and automated security scanning are two growing areas in cybersecurity used by many companies today. In this article, we look at how bug bounty programs and automation complement one another to deliver better web application security.

Get the best of both options
Many have already heard of a bug bounty program or automated web security, and may even be running it as part of their security strategy. A bug bounty program invites ethical hackers to report security vulnerabilities on their websites in exchange for a reward, which is often monetary. Automated scanners like Detectify are effective at doing a scheduled wide sweep across your web applications to check for common vulnerabilities.

At Detectify, the security tests built into our scanner are sourced from our internal team and Detectify Crowdsource network of 150+ white hat hackers. These two layers of security complement one another and leverage crowdsourced knowledge to provide improved coverage. We’ve highlighted a few advantages of combining bug bounty programs and automated security testing.

bug bounty and automated security

How Bug Bounty Programs and Automation Complement each other.


3 benefits of combining bug bounty programs with automated security testing:

Maximize the value of your bug bounty program
Automated scanners are effective at auditing your web application security at a wide scope and for detecting low hanging fruit. This allows you to adjust the scope of your bug bounty programs as needed to key focal points. The automated solution can gather the common vulnerabilities like OWASP Top 10, while bug bounty hunters can go deeper into your code and deliver sophisticated hacks like ACME XSS or Upload Policies exploits. At Detectify, we have top-ranked ethical hackers on our teams, which means we are able to automate advanced research findings like the aforementioned into our tool.

Continuous coverage
Bug bounty programs have become a great asset to security teams in that they can get help from ethical hackers that’s tailored to their needs. Submissions may come during organized events, like with Bugcrowd or Hackerone, or throughout the year if there’s a public bug bounty program running. Some security teams implement automated security scanners to audit web applications security on a weekly basis in between bug bounty events. This provides constant coverage and catches common flaws that are easily fixed by a developer in a dynamic scanning environment.

Encourage security awareness within the organization
When working with ethical hackers in bug bounty programs or a platform like Detectify Crowdsource, you get results of vulnerabilities found, the proof of concept as well as remediation tips. This provides security and developer teams with educational information on how to spot it and also can set a preventative mindset.

4 ways Detectify can complement your bug bounty programs:

Stay at the forefront of security
When a vulnerability submitted by a Detectify Crowdsource ethical hacker has been validated by our engineering team, we build it into our tool right away, making it available to all our customers at once. This ensures that knowledge is shared with our entire customer base. We update our tool bi-weekly, keeping all our customers at the forefront of security.

Scanning with an adjustable scope
With Detectify, you can set the scanner to check for 1000+ known vulnerabilities on your entire domain or on a specific path or subdomain. This could reduce redundancies of known bugs reported and you can set your bug bounty scope to go after things not in the scope of the Detectify tool, often more complex bugs found deeper in a system. You can also include scanning behind login and also checking for subdomain takeovers with our domain monitoring service.

Vulnerabilities detected can be shared with developers
When Detectify lists the vulnerabilities found, this information is shown in the tool with guidance on where to find the code error, explanation of each bug and remediation tips. This information is available to all users, which means security teams and developers can access the same information and vulnerabilities can be actioned upon once a scan is completed.

False Negatives found can be built in
If your bug bounty program finds a False Negative, we can build in a security test to the scanner using the Proof of Concept provided by the bug bounty hunters. Your scanner will then be set to monitor for the vulnerability going forward.

Detectify is an automated web application security scanner and we work with our Detectify Crowdsource community of 150+ ethical hackers to research security tests and improve our tool continuously. Are you ready to trial Detectify with your bug bounty program? Sign up for an account and scan with a free trial here.

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