Chris Campbell
Sales Engineer, EMEA
Vulnerability Management,
Assessments

How to Find Mistakes Earlier and Save Money With Code Security Audit

Developers finding code vulnerabilities with code security audit

Our CTO, Alex Rice, likes to say that shift left is dead — and he’s right. DevOps teams may care about security, but it’s not their area of expertise, and it’s not a priority for their pipeline goals. And who can blame them? Even if it can be done right, incorporating security into the DevOps process adds friction, often taking months or even years of trial and error. When shipping code quickly is the primary priority, adding security is just another thing that slows developers down.

As a result, it’s only natural that code gets shipped with security flaws. Thankfully, many organizations have solutions in place to catch security vulnerabilities after code is shipped, like pentesting and bug bounty programs. Of course, it’s much cheaper for organizations to use ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities than it is for them to undergo a breach. But wouldn’t it be cheaper yet if these vulnerabilities were found and resolved from the source code directly — without interfering with the DevOps process?

Find Mistakes Earlier

HackerOne Code Security Audit provides a means to address the concern of critical vulnerabilities by leveraging a community of vetted, expert code reviewers to report findings as soon as they are found in the HackerOne platform alongside results from associated pentest engagements. The addition of Code Security Audit increases the depth of security coverage by providing the means to audit the security posture of DevOps practices. 

In the past year, a specialized cohort of the HackerOne community, including a group of rigorously vetted, specialized software engineers and security experts, has performed over 30,000 code reviews. Each review takes a median of 88 minutes to complete and surfaces an average of 1.2 vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities that are most likely to be discovered in a code security audit:

  • Design flaws and logic errors: Code audits can uncover design flaws and logic errors that might not be immediately apparent during production testing.
     
  • Insecure coding practices: Input validation and output encoding issues, lack of proper error handling, inadequate access controls, and other insecure coding practices can lead to various attacks, including injection attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), and privilege escalation.
     
  • Hidden backdoors and malicious code: These are sometimes intentionally or unintentionally inserted into the codebase and are often difficult to detect through traditional production testing methods alone.
     
  • Insecure dependencies: Code audits that include software composition analysis (SCA) can easily uncover vulnerabilities in third-party libraries and dependencies that the application might use.
     
  • Sensitive data leakage: Data such as hard-coded credentials, API keys, or encryption keys are often stored insecurely within the code.
     
  • Unintended information disclosure: Sensitive information — such as debug information, comments, or metadata — might unintentionally leak details about the application's internals and infrastructure.
     
  • Cryptographic vulnerabilities: Security vulnerabilities related to cryptography — such as weak encryption algorithms, improper key management, and insecure random number generation — are more likely to be found during a code audit due to their code-centric nature.
     
  • Application and Infrastructure-as-Code misconfigurations: These might lead to security vulnerabilities such as incorrect and missing security settings, default configurations, or insecure cloud configurations.

Save Money

According to HackerOne’s 7th Annual Hacker Powered Report, the cost of a code security audit ($11,400) is considerably less expensive than the median bounty reward of HackerOne programs ($29,437 for an average of 24 bugs with a normal distribution of severity ratings). So? Finding mistakes earlier not only results in more secure code, but it also saves organizations money ($18,037).

Organizations can save an average of $18,037 using Code Security Audit


To learn more about the power of incorporating Code Security Audit into your DevOps security, download the 7th Annual Hacker Powered Security Report. And to start finding vulnerabilities earlier and saving money with Code Security Audit, contact the team at HackerOne today.