Rebecca Vineyard
August 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Anyone in the tech industry knows, you can never be too careful when it comes to security in both software and hardware. It’s why many companies have “bug bounty” programs, or rewards that incentivize the discovery of flaws in their tech. It’s a pretty simple concept: independent security researchers are given a reward, usually money, when they notify a company of a flaw they’ve found that might make the technology, and in turn its users, vulnerable.

Up until recently, though, Apple was one company that kept its security testing internal. While they’ve always taken external input into account, there was no reward in place for finding their flaws. That means, people were less likely to seek out flaws in Apple’s technology, and they were less likely to realize that there was something even wrong in the first place. But this is all about to change.

According to AppleInsider, during Apple’s presentation at this year’s Black Hat security conference the company announced the change: they’re going to offer cash to those who discover hardware and software vulnerabilities.

The program goes live in September and will pay out for a list of specific bugs discovered, such as unauthorized access to iCloud account data. If people do find vulnerabilities in Apple’s products, the company will be better able to fix them with minimal impact to the user — it’s a win-win for everyone.

However, Apple didn’t create their new straightforward “bug bounty” like so many other companies have in place —  they did it with their own innovative twist. Apple will match the donation of those who give their award to charity rather than keeping it for themselves. With awards up to $200,00 Apple could end up paying a whole lot for their fortified security —  but all for a good cause.