Crowdsourcing has been used for a variety of purposes, such as product development, marketing, and now security. According to research, crowdsourcing security in open source software is a growing trend, opening millions of possibilities for all.
The idea is to harness the power of the crowd and hence, give companies and organizations the ability to improve cyber and physical security systems cost-effectively and efficiently. However, with the numerous benefits that come with crowdsourcing, there are also an equal number of risks and vulnerabilities as well.
In this article, we will look at the opportunities and challenges that crowdsourcing security in open source software presents and whether or not it is a good idea for organizations in this day and age.
What is Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is the act of sourcing labor or ideas from a large group of people, typically through the use of the internet. The concept has been used for a variety of purposes, such as product development, marketing, and now security.
The advantages of crowdsourcing are many. First, it allows for more eyes on the code, which can lead to more timely discovery of vulnerabilities. Second, it enables companies and organizations to tap into a wider pool of talent, which can lead to improved security. Finally, crowdsourcing security can help to build community and improve communication between developers and users.
Despite the advantages, there are also some challenges associated with crowdsourcing security. First, it can be difficult to manage and coordinate a large number of people. Second, there is the potential for abuse, as malicious actors could use crowdsourcing to their advantage. Finally, there is the risk that crowdsourced security efforts will not be taken seriously by the wider security community.
By overcoming these challenges, companies have been able to capitalize on the crowdsourcing security trend quite effectively.
How is Crowdsourcing Used for Security?
Crowdsourcing security is a growing trend. By harnessing the power of the crowd, companies and organizations can improve the security of their software products.
In today’s world, where the risk of cybersecurity issues is always present, it is important for companies and organizations to have a way to quickly find and fix vulnerabilities in their software. Crowdsourcing security provides a way to do just that.
Crowdsourcing security in open source software is a growing trend. By harnessing the power of the crowd, companies and organizations can improve the security of their software products.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines OSS in S 6106.01 as
“Software that can be accessed, used, modified, and shared by anyone. OSS is often distributed under licenses that comply with the definition of “Open Source” provided by the Open Source Initiative and/or that meet the definition of “Free Software” provided by the Free Software Foundation.”
The Vulnerabilities of Crowdsourced Security – Implications of Murphy’s Law
“Anything that can happen, will happen.” – Murphy’s Law
While crowd sourced security has many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and challenges associated with it. One such challenge is that of Murphy’s Law and how it associates itself with the concept of open-source development and crowdsourced security.
Murphy’s law states that anything that can happen will happen. This same principle applies to open source software development. No matter how much testing and quality assurance is done, there will always be vulnerabilities present in the code – and there is a very good chance that someone will find it.
Crowdsourcing allows you to find these vulnerabilities quicker as more people get access to your code. The fact that crowdsourced security relies on the crowd to find these vulnerabilities means that there is the potential for abuse as malicious actors could use crowdsourcing to their advantage.
Furthermore, there is the risk that crowdsourced security efforts will not be taken seriously by the wider security community. This means that it is important for companies and organizations to be aware of the potential risks and challenges associated with crowdsourcing security.
Examples of Crowdsourced Security
There are a number of companies and organizations that are using crowdsourcing to improve the security of their software products.
- Facebook’s bug bounty program. Under this program, security researchers are rewarded for finding and reporting vulnerabilities in Facebook’s code. This program has been successful in finding and fixing a number of critical vulnerabilities.
- Google’s Project Zero. This is a program that encourages security researchers to find and report vulnerabilities in any software, not just Google’s products. The goal of Project Zero is to make the internet safer for everyone by improving the security of software.
- US Department of Defense crowdsourced security efforts. In 2015, the Defense Digital Service launched the “Hack the Pentagon” bug bounty program. This program was created in response to the growing number of cyberattacks against the US government. Through this program, security researchers were invited to find and report vulnerabilities in select Department of Defense websites. The program was successful in finding and fixing a number of critical vulnerabilities.
Crowdsourced Security & Open Source Software
There are a number of companies and organizations that are using crowdsourced security to improve the security of open source software.
- Open Source Software Security Foundation (OpenSSF). The OpenSSF is a non-profit organization that works to improve the security of open source software. They do this by coordinating security efforts across different projects, by providing guidance and support to developers and by conducting security audits.
- Open Source Security Coalition (OSSC). The OSSC is a group of companies and organizations that are committed to improving the security of open source software. They do this by working with project maintainers to address security issues, by funding security research, and by providing training and resources to developers.
- Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) is a project that provides funding for open source projects that are critical to the internet. The CII provides grants to projects that meet certain criteria, such as having a good security track record. Additionally, the CII sponsors a number of security initiatives, such as the “State of the Software Supply Chain” report.
The CII is also working on a number of other projects that are related to open-source software security. For example, they are working on a project called “Hack the Code,” which is a program that provides funding for security research on open source software.
Crowdsourced security can be an effective way to improve the security of open source software. By working with project maintainers, funding security research, and providing training and resources to developers, companies and organizations can make open source software more secure. Additionally, by sponsoring programs like “Hack the Code,” the CII is helping to create a more secure open source ecosystem.
Further blogs within this Crowdsourcing Security In Open Source Software category.