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Software Vulnerabilities Increase by 20% in 2021

The 2021 Hacker-Powered Security Report: Industry Insights reveals ethical hackers have reported over 66,000 valid vulnerabilities to organizations this year

SAN FRANCISCO, 8 December 2021 - HackerOne, the world’s most trusted hacker-powered security platform, today announced that hackers have reported over 66,000 valid vulnerabilities this year - over 20% more than 2020 - with hacker-powered pentests seeing a 264% increase in reported vulnerabilities. Pandemic-led digital transformation and cloud migration continue to create vulnerabilities as attack surfaces expand and services are outsourced. The annual Hacker-Powered Security Report: Industry Insights provides insights from the world’s largest database of vulnerabilities and bug bounty customer programs. This year’s report revealed bounty prices for high and critical vulnerabilities are rising as organizations prioritize high-impact bugs. Businesses are also remediating vulnerabilities faster than ever as vulnerability management increasingly becomes a core business priority. The report also includes the latest Top 10 vulnerability data, showing where efforts are going to prioritize fixing vulnerabilities and what vulnerabilities organizations see the most value in paying out for.

“Even the most conservative organizations are recognizing the power of the outsider point of view,” said Chris Evans, HackerOne’s newly-appointed CISO and Chief Hacking Officer. “We’ve continued to see high growth in the financial services sector, for example. Measuring and quantifying risk is their business, and they’re seeing that both risk and business outcome is better if they embrace hackers. Across the board, we’re seeing customers using vulnerability report data to inform their software development lifecycles. Organizations are catching issues earlier, and remediating them, at greatly reduced cost by focusing on improvements to developer education, source code integrations, and development frameworks.”

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • The adoption of hacker-powered security programs is growing across all industries, with a 34% increase in total customer programs in 2021.
  • The traditionally conservative industries of financial services and government continue to lead in adoption of hacker-powered security testing programs, with a 62% increase in financial services programs and an 89% increase of government programs, led this year by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and Singapore’s GovTech agency.
  • Hackers reported 21% more vulnerabilities in 2021 than 2020. While traditional bug bounty saw a 10% increase in valid vulnerability reports, Vulnerability Disclosure Programs (VDPs) saw a 47% increase, and reports from hacker-powered pentests rose by 264%
  • The median price of a critical bug rose 20% from $2500 in 2020 to $3000 in 2021. The average bounty price for a critical bug rose by 13%, and by 30% for a high severity rated bug. 
  • In the past year, the industry-wide median time to resolution fell by 19% from 33 days to 26.7 days, with some industries such as retail and e-commerce seeing time-to-remediation dropping by more than 50%.
  • The number-one most discovered bug on HackerOne continues to be Cross Site Scripting, but other bug categories have seen a significant increase in reports since 2020. Information Disclosure saw a 58% increase in valid reports and Business Logic Errors had a 67% increase, giving them a spot on the Top 10 for the first time. 

The full report is available at: www.hackerone.com/5th-hacker-powered-security-report and sign up to the webinar to hear more from Chris: www.hackerone.com/hacker-powered-security-report-webinar

ABOUT HACKERONE:

HackerOne empowers the world to build a safer internet. As the world’s most trusted hacker-powered security platform, HackerOne gives organizations access to the largest community of hackers on the planet. Armed with the largest database of vulnerability trends and industry benchmarks, the hacker community mitigates cyber risk by searching, finding, and safely reporting real-world security weaknesses for organizations across all industries and attack surfaces. Customers include The U.S. Department of Defense, Dropbox, General Motors, GitHub, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hyatt, Lufthansa, Microsoft, MINDEF Singapore, Nintendo, PayPal, Slack, Starbucks, Twitter, and Verizon Media. HackerOne was ranked fifth on the Fast Company World’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2020.