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Responsible Disclosure Policy Guidance
Responsible Disclosure Policy Guidance
Ethan Heller avatar
Written by Ethan Heller
Updated over a week ago

The following article contains guidance explaining portions of the Responsible Disclosure Policy that we frequently see questions around, explaining what the sections mean.

Guidance statements will appear in bold and enclosed in brackets “[]” below the statements of the policy.

Responsible Disclosure Policy

[COMPANY NAME]

______________________________________________________________________

Purpose

To allow for the reporting and disclosure of vulnerabilities discovered by external entities, and anonymous reporting of information security policy violations by internal entities.

Scope

[COMPANY NAME]’s Responsible Disclosure Policy covers applies to [COMPANY NAME]’s core platform and its information security infrastructure, and to internal and external employees or third parties.

Background

[COMPANY NAME] is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our customers and employees. We aim to foster an environment of trust, and an open partnership with the security community, and we recognize the importance of vulnerability disclosures and whistleblowers in continuing to ensure safety and security for all of our customers, employees and company. We have developed this policy to both reflect our corporate values and to uphold our legal responsibility to good-faith security researchers that are providing us with their expertise and whistleblowers who add an extra layer of security to our infrastructure.

Roles and Responsibilities

<ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES>

[Please see the following help article for information on how to fill out the Roles and Responsibilities section for the Responsible Disclosure Policy: https://help.drata.com/en/articles/5829670-roles-and-responsibilities-guidance .]

Legal Posture

[COMPANY NAME] will not engage in legal action against individuals who submit vulnerability reports through our Vulnerability Reporting inbox. We openly accept reports for the currently listed [COMPANY NAME] products. We agree not to pursue legal action against individuals who:

  • Engage in testing of systems/research without harming [COMPANY NAME] or its customers.

  • Engage in vulnerability testing within the scope of our vulnerability disclosure program.

  • Test on products without affecting customers, or receive permission/consent from customers before engaging in vulnerability testing against their devices/software, etc.

  • Adhere to the laws of their location and the location of [COMPANY NAME]. For example, violating laws that would only result in a claim by [COMPANY NAME] (and not a criminal claim) may be acceptable as [COMPANY NAME] is authorizing the activity (reverse engineering or circumventing protective measures) to improve its system.

  • Refrain from disclosing vulnerability details to the public before a mutually agreed-upon timeframe expires.

[The content in this section are best practice requirements. This section can be edited to meet your specific business requirements and objectives.]

Policy

Vulnerability Report/Disclosure

How to Submit a Vulnerability

To submit a vulnerability report to [COMPANY NAME]’s Product Security Team, please utilize the following email <security alias>.

[A process should be in place for both internal and external users to report vulnerabilities. This is a key aspect of the Responsible Disclosure Policy. For example, you could direct both internal and external users to report issues by contacting a dedicated communication channel, such as emailing a designated company email address.]

Preference, Prioritization, and Acceptance Criteria:

We will use the criteria from the next sections to prioritize and triage submissions.

What we would like to see from you:

  • Well-written reports in English will have a higher probability of resolution.

  • Reports that include proof-of-concept code equip us to better triage.

  • Reports that include only crash dumps or other automated tool output may receive lower priority.

  • Reports that include products not on the initial scope list may receive lower priority.

  • Please include how you found the bug, the impact, and any potential remediation.

  • Please include any plans or intentions for public disclosure.

What you can expect from [COMPANY NAME]:

  • A timely response to your email (within 2 business days).

    [2 business days is recommended but it is at your discretion to determine the appropriate time frame for providing a response.]

  • After triage, we will send an expected timeline, and commit to being as transparent as possible about the remediation timeline as well as on issues or challenges that may extend it.

  • An open dialog to discuss issues.

  • Notification when the vulnerability analysis has completed each stage of our review.

  • Credit after the vulnerability has been validated and fixed.

If we are unable to resolve communication issues or other problems, [COMPANY NAME] may bring in a neutral third party to assist in determining how best to handle the vulnerability.

Whistle Blowing

[The Whistle Blowing section is OPTIONAL for SOC 2, but is REQUIRED for ISO 27001.]

How to Submit a Report

To anonymously report an information security program violation or a violation of related laws and regulations, please utilize <provide method>

[One possible method for intaking these reports is to implement a fully anonymous method such as creating a form of some type, such as a Google Form or an equivalent, which does not record name or email. Alternatively, you could set up a phone number (I.e. a whistleblower hotline) that allows for the anonymous reporting of security program violations.]

Preference, Prioritization, and Acceptance Criteria

We will use the criteria from the following sections to prioritize and review submissions.

What we expect from you:

  • Detailed report made in good faith or based on a reasonable belief.

    • Good Faith means the truthful reporting of a company-related violation of information security policies, procedures, or regulations, as opposed to a report made with reckless disregard or willful ignorance of facts.

    • Reasonable Belief refers to the subjective belief in the truth of the disclosure AND that any reasonable person in a similar situation would objectively believe based on the facts.

  • Details of the violation (i.e., what, how, why).

  • Details of the reported event, with facts (i.e., who, where, when).

  • You are NOT responsible for investigating the alleged violation, or for determining fault or corrective measures.

What you can expect from [COMPANY NAME]:

  • Your report will be submitted to the <security subcommittee> for review.

    [It is at your discretion to determine who the appropriate reviewer(s) of whistleblower reports should be. ‘Security Subcommittee’ here is just a recommendation.]

  • Protection of your identity and confidentiality.

    • CAVEAT: It may be necessary for your identity to be disclosed when a thorough investigation, compliance with the law, or due process of accused members is required.

  • Protection against any form of retaliation and harassment, such as termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm.

    • If you believe that you are being retaliated against, immediately contact <role>.

      [This would typically be reported to a specific department within your company, most likely your company’s Human Resources Department. In most cases, someone in an HR role should be responsible for this, such as the head of HR or an HR manager.]

  • Any retaliation or harassment against you will result in disciplinary action.

  • CAVEAT: Your right for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing alleged in the report and investigated

  • Due process for you and for the accused member(s).

  • Corrective actions taken to resolve a verified violation and a review and enhancement of applicable policies and procedures, if necessary or appropriate.

  • Continuous information security awareness training and understanding your rights as a whistleblower.

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