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What is Managed Vulnerability Disclosure Policy (mVDP)?

Find out what managed vulnerability disclosure policy is, how it works, and why you should consider using one.

Balazs PoznerMarch 03, 2023 · 5 min read · Last Updated:

Vulnerability disclosure policies (VDPs) have become essential to an organization’s overall security posture. A well-crafted and implemented VDP can provide several benefits, including improved security, reduced legal risk, and enhanced customer confidence.

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to exploit security vulnerabilities in your software and systems. Furthermore, most of the identified security vulnerabilities are not reported to the company to fix them. In fact, a recent study showed that 83% of security vulnerabilities are found by hackers and not by the companies who created the software. That’s a scary number, isn’t it?

Responsible disclosure programs are an important part of any organization’s security strategy. A VDP enables your company to receive reports of potential security vulnerabilities in a responsible and coordinated manner.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the managed VDP model in more detail and discuss some of the benefits it can offer.

What is the (managed) Vulnerability Disclosure Policy?

A VDP or a responsible disclosure program enables ethical hackers to report potential vulnerabilities. Vulnerability disclosure refers to the process of identifying, reporting, and patching weaknesses in software, hardware, or services. In addition, it helps to build trust between the company and its customers, demonstrating that the company takes security seriously and is willing to work with ethical hackers to protect customer data.

Responsible disclosure programs are an important tool for companies to ensure the security of their IT systems and data. By establishing a program, companies can encourage researchers and other security professionals to report any potential vulnerabilities they find without fear of legal action. It is published on companies’ website where VDP allows companies to quickly identify and address issues before they become significant problems.

Hackrate can help you to reduce implantation resources and operational tasks of your VDP. We call it managed vulnerability disclosure policy (mVDP).

Who needs a VDP?

Vulnerability Disclosure Policies are becoming essential for any organization that utilizes online services. With a Vulnerability Disclosure Policy, you can provide improved transparency on existing and potential security vulnerabilities, allowing quicker remediation processes for any issues. VDPs should be deployed in any organization who wants to reduce the likelihood of falling prey to a malicious attack.

How to start with your VDP?

A responsible disclosure policy outlines the process for reporting security vulnerabilities and provides guidance on how to handle them. Here are the steps for creating a responsible disclosure program:

  • Establish clear guidelines for reporting security vulnerabilities. The guidelines should include the scope of the program, what types of vulnerabilities will be accepted, how they should be reported, who is eligible to participate, and what type of information should be included in the report. It must consist of safe harbor practices.
  • Create a communication plan that outlines how you will respond to reports. You must create a secure channel for submitting vulnerability reports and communicating with researchers.
  • Create a public statement acknowledging the importance of responsible disclosure and thanking those who take part in it.
  • Develop a process for assessing and addressing reported security vulnerabilities. This should include steps such as verifying the validity of the report, determining the severity of the vulnerability, and implementing any necessary fixes or patches. In addition, we suggest creating a timeline for responding to reports and addressing any discovered issues.
  • You should consider an incentive structure that rewards researchers for their work. For example, set up a process for rewarding researchers who report valid security vulnerabilities in your products or services. In this case, the VDP turns into a bug bounty program.

Following these steps, you can create a responsible disclosure program that helps protect your company from potential cyber-attacks. We recommend following the two ISO standards related to vulnerability management (ISO/IEC 29147: Vulnerability disclosure and ISO/IEC 30111: Vulnerability handling processes).

By having these elements in place, organizations can create an effective responsible disclosure program that encourages collaboration between security researchers and IT teams while promoting security best practices within the organization.

How does a managed VDP work, and what are its benefits to organizations that implement it?

A managed Vulnerability Disclosure Policy (mVDP) is Hackrate’s practical approach to setting up a secure channel between ethical hackers and your organization, making it possible to detect and fix vulnerabilities. By setting up this secure channel, organizations can be sure their vulnerabilities will not be shared publicly or exploited by malicious actors. Furthermore, Hackrate’s experience with hundreds of VDPs allows them to develop custom-tailored mVDP solutions tailored to the specific needs of each organization.

The ethical hackers provide information on the vulnerability through a secure online form, and our team validates all incoming submissions before you receive them. In addition, our structured vulnerability report form improves the quality of the reports.

Our service is designed to make it easy for you to respond quickly to vulnerability reports from the ethical hacker community and take appropriate action.

Hackrate has created an easy-to-use platform that makes it simpler and more efficient to fix vulnerabilities without investing too much time or resources into manually examining possible threats on your own.

Hackrate’s mVDP can help secure your organization in multiple ways. It provides a process for identifying and managing vulnerabilities, builds trust with the security community, and encourages ethical hackers to report vulnerabilities instead of taking advantage of them.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a managed vulnerability disclosure policy could benefit your organization, get in touch with us. We would be happy to chat with you about your specific needs and concerns. In the meantime, check out our website to learn more about our services.

Written by Balazs Pozner
CEO and Founder of HACKRATE Ltd.

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