Established in 2016 by the Secretary of Defense, and born out of Hack The Pentagon, the Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP) operates to strengthen the security of the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Network (DoDIN) by crowdsourcing the discovery of cyber-based vulnerabilities. It is the largest single disclosure program in the world with over two-thousand active researchers discovering twenty-three thousand vulnerabilities in less than four years; providing an additional layer to the Department’s defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy. The VDP mission is to act as the single DoD focal point for receiving crowdsourced cybersecurity vulnerabilities on the DoDIN to improve network defenses and enhance mission assurance by embracing a previously overlooked yet indispensable resource: private-sector white hat researchers. The success of the program relies solely on expertise and support from the security researcher community which contributes to the overall security of the Department. Ultimately, VDP will drive an increase in the DoDIN’s cyber hygiene with the objective of ensuring that the DoD can accomplish its mission to defend the United States of America.
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