HackerOne touts enterprise growth as bug bounties aid digital transformation


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Bug bounty platform HackerOne is touting its enterprise growth over the past year, when businesses underwent major digital transformations due to the pandemic.

The San Francisco-based company said its hacker community grew to more than 1 million users and helped drive 50% top-line growth, with nearly half of its new sales emanating from businesses with over $1 billion in revenue. Additionally, HackerOne now claims almost a quarter of U.S. Fortune 100 companies as clients.

Founded in 2012, HackerOne connects businesses with security researchers, or “white hat hackers,” who are incentivized to find software vulnerabilities through cash payments relative to the size of the bug they uncover. The company previously partnered with a slew of major companies to power their bounty programs, including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Intel, the U.S. Department of Defense, Dropbox, and Google.

The broader crowdsourced security industry has seen some notable activity over the past year, with Synack raising $52 million in external funding and Bugcrowd securing $30 million. At its raise last April, Bugcrowd CEO Ashish Gupta told VentureBeat that the rapid shift to remote work was driving demand for its platform, with record year-on-year growth — including a 100% increase in the North American enterprise market.


Bug bounty platforms could appeal to enterprises for a number of reasons. As businesses transition to the cloud and pursue shortened software release cycles, more flaws can enter their codebase, which could lead to serious security breaches. So paying ethical hackers to find flaws before the bad actors do is a smart move.

Moreover, bug bounty programs enable businesses to easily scale their security protections and garner niche-specific hacker expertise for whatever environment is relevant to them, be that the cloud, mobile, web, supply chain, or open source. A report from Red Hat last week noted that the pandemic was driving adoption of open source software in the enterprise, despite the fact that open source software has often gained notice for its security shortfalls. This is an issue many companies are now striving to fix. Examples include last year’s partnership between Google and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to fund a bug bounty program for Kubernetes, the popular open source system for managing containerized workloads and services.

Digging down into specific industries, HackerOne said it has seen year-on-year growth across various sectors, including aviation (129%), financial services (126%), retail and commerce (90%), and health care (62%).

Alongside the growth metrics announced today, HackerOne also built on its existing Google affiliations by revealing that Google Cloud’s chief information and security officer (CISO) Phil Venables has joined its board of directors.


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