Humans in crowdsourcing-powered cybersecurity

Smart Cybersecurity Handbook 2022 Cyber Security

Bugcrowd, a crowdsourced cybersecurity platform, released its annual Inside the Mind of a Hacker ’21 report, which provides CIOs and CISOs insight on ethical hackers and the economics of security research. New findings indicate a startling shift in the threat landscape with eight out of 10 ethical hackers recently having identified a vulnerability they had never seen before.

This annual study offers an in-depth look at ethical hackers to reveal how they reduce risk, which industries leverage their expertise most and what organisations are doing to attract high-performing security researchers to their programmes. It also indicates the growing geographic disparity in crowdsourced cybersecurity investment, with continental Europe allocating 79% less budget to ethical hacking than North America.

The report analyses survey responses and security research conducted on the Bugcrowd Platform from May 1, 2020, to August 31, 2021, in addition to millions of proprietary data points collected on vulnerabilities from 2961 security programs. It also features the personal profiles of several ethical hackers who work on the Bugcrowd platform.

Cybercrime now represents more than 1% of global GDP, costing organisations an estimated $1 trillion in losses in 2021. Ethical hackers are challenging the powerful forces behind these attacks, enabling companies to continuously secure their digital assets and software development lifecycle (SDLC) with greater efficiencies than traditional approaches.

Ethical hackers are multigenerational and younger than ever. Faced with the worst job market since the Great Depression and disproportionate job loss throughout the pandemic, 54% of Gen Z (born 1997–2012) report using their skills as digital natives to kick-start ethical hacking careers.

“Hacking has long been maligned by stereotypical depictions of criminals in hoods, when in fact ethical hackers are highly trusted and industrious experts who empower organisations to release secure products to market faster,” said Ashish Gupta, CEO and president, Bugcrowd. “With this report, we are proud to shine a light on the top ethical hackers that CrowdMatch – Bugcrowd’s proprietary recommendation engine – automatically curates for customer programmes based on skills, environment and use cases.”

Readers of this report will better understand how ethical hackers reduce risk for organisations, provide the most significant security return on investment and accelerate digital transformation. To download a copy of the report go to www.securitysa.com/*bug1 (redirects to www.bugcrowd.com/resources/guides/inside-the-mind-of-a-hacker/).


Key takeaways

• 91% of ethical hackers said that point-in-time testing cannot secure companies year-round.

• 80% of ethical hackers found a vulnerability they had not encountered before the pandemic.

• 74% of ethical hackers agree vulnerabilities have increased since the onset of Covid-19.

• 71% of ethical hackers report they earn more now that most companies work remotely.

• 45% of ethical hackers believe lack of scope inhibits the discovery of critical vulnerabilities.

• 27 billion dollars’ worth of cybercrime was prevented by ethical hackers on the Bugcrowd platform.




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