Salesforce Paid More Than $2.8 Million in Bug Bounties Last Year

Salesforce launched their program in 2015 and it has awarded more than $12.2 million in total bounties since.
Adam Rowe

Salesforce paid out a total of more than $2.8 million to ethical hackers who helped them locate bugs in their software across 2021.

The highest amount paid for one bounty was $30,000, but more than 4,700 suspected vulnerabilities were reported to the software company last year, so they had a lot of bounties to hand out.

The payments are a heartening example of the ways in which hackers can help shore up an internet ecosystem that faces more and more threats from ransomware or phishing attacks every year.

How it Works

All product and features changes at Salesforce are tested internally, as you might expect. Once that's over, though, the updates go through “a trusted network of ethical hackers,” as the company explained in a recent post. This pool of hackers — 118 of them in 2021 — is given access to a sandbox testing environment in order to crash-test the new software.

The bug bounty program then rewards those hackers who can locate and disclose security concerns in the new product releases and updates.

“I was attracted to becoming an ethical hacker after starting my career as a developer,” said Inhibitor181, an ethical hacker in the Salesforce bug bounty program. “Not only is it more stimulating and less monotonous to use my programming skills to legally hack into global companies’ products, but it also allows me to do my part in preventing cybercrime. Not all hackers are bad.”

Needless to say, Salesforce undoubtedly saved far more than they paid in bounties to locate any vulnerabilities in their software. We've called their software “the most reputable CRM on the market right now” in our latest review of their customer relationship management software, and they have to maintain that reputation.

Google and Microsoft Pay Millions More

Salesforce can't touch Google for bug bounties: The search giant paid a total of $8.7 million in bounty rewards during 2021, it said earlier this month, paying 696 researchers in 62 different countries.

Google's highest reward in 2021 was a tidy $157,000, for an Android security issue.

While Microsoft hasn't released its 2021 bounties data yet, the tech corporation did pay $13.6 million in bounties for 2020, with an average of $10,000 and one bounty that was as high as $200,000.

Salesforce's funds aren't as large, but their program is growing: It launched in 2015 and has awarded more than $12.2 million in total bounties since. A full $9.5 million of that has just been since 2019.

Salesforce CRM Stays Secure

The bounty system appears to work. Salesforce CRM is feature-packed and highly secure, even if its ease of use might come with a learning curve.

And speaking of Microsoft, their Dynamics CRM is another solid pick, offering strong integration with other Microsoft products your business might be using. We've stacked the two services up against each other over here.

Salesforce is an attractive option for its low starting cost as well, particularly for CRM-only teams of five users or less. But plenty of other services are worth considering as well, even if they don't have a bug bounty program working for them. Here's a quick table of the top options, and we have a page dedicated to Salesforce CRM alternatives as well.

0 out of 0
Free trial
Starting price
Most expensive plan
Verdict
Email marketing
Social marketing
Marketing campaigns
API
Email Comms Channel
Phone Comms Channel
Website Live Chat Comms Channel

Salesforce

HubSpot

monday.com CRM

Zendesk

Freshworks CRM

Pipedrive

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Zoho CRM

SugarCRM

Keap

Sendinblue

30 days

14 days

Yes – 30 days

21 days

14 days

30 days

30 day

7 days

14 days

$45 per month/2 users ($23/month per additional user)

$24 per month (for 3 users)

$19 per user per month

$15 per month

$12.50 per month

$65 per month

$14 per user per month

$52 per user/per month

$79 per month

$25 per month

$15,000 per month

$3,200 per month

$48 per month (for 3 users)

$175 per user per month

$99 per month

$99 per month

$1,500 per month

$52 per user per month

$1,000 per month

$499 per month

$POA

An incredibly popular and robust CRM with tailored pricing options for all businesses

An extremely solid CRM for all businesses with a great free plan

Popular option with a modern, easily customizable interface and a great Free Trial

A robust platform aimed at businesses looking to scale

A highly intuitive CRM that is packed with plenty of features and even has a free plan option

Core CRM features in flexible pricing plans make this one of the best value CRM options for any small business

A robust CRM platform that embeds brilliantly with Microsoft products

An attractive option, with lots of features for a low price 

A great all-round CRM with a great, easy to understand dashboard

A suitable all-in-one platform for sales and marketing but a bit expensive

A decent choice for email marketing that falls behind in some other areas

Open

Limited

Open

Open

Open

Open

Yes

Limited

Open

Limited

Open

Requires Telephony integration on Support plans, available on Suite plans

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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