Last month, I advised you about the new “bug bounty” program announced by the Department of Defense in which it is offering a “bug bounty” to vetted hackers who are able to identify vulnerabilities in its web pages and computer networks. However, private companies, such as Google and Facebook have long made cash payments to independent hackers, sometimes called white hat hackers to distinguish them from the criminal black hat hackers, who identified vulnerabilities in their computer code. Generally, these bounties are between $500 and $15,000, however, Google has recently announced that it has doubled the reward that it will pay anyone who finds a flaw in the security of its Chromebook to $100,000. Google has paid out more than six million dollars in bug bounties since the program was started in 2010.
This is a positive strategy for businesses and government to follow to enhance cybersecurity. As for we as individuals, the best things we can do to protect our cybersecurity is to keep our anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date on all of our electronic devices and refrain from clicking on links or downloading attachments in all forms of electronic communication until we have absolutely confirmed that the communications are legitimate. Otherwise, the risk of downloading malware is too great.