Offensive testing to make Dropbox (and the world) a safer place

Dropbox invests heavily in our security program. We have lots of teams dedicated to securing Dropbox, each working on exciting things. Some recent examples covered on our tech blog include:

  • Our Product Security team rolled out support for WebAuthn to boost user adoption of two-step verification and upleveled our industry-leading public bug bounty program
  • Because security is everyone’s responsibility, our Security Culture team helps our employees make consistently secure and informed decisions that protect Dropbox, our users, and our employees
  • Our Detection and Response Team (DART) implementation of extensive instrumentation throughout our infrastructure to catch any indications of compromise.

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Security culture, the Dropbox way

The Dropbox Security Team is responsible for securing around 1 exabyte of data, belonging to over half a billion registered users across the world. The responsibility for securing data at this scale extends far beyond the Dropbox Security Team—it takes a commitment from everyone at Dropbox to safeguard our users’ data every day. In other words, it takes a strong security culture.

The first core company value at Dropbox is “Be Worthy of Trust.” From a security perspective, this means keeping our users’ stuff safe. Our culture of security is built on this foundation of trust and is a fundamental part of our identity.

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Introducing WebAuthn support for secure Dropbox sign in

The easiest way to keep a secret is to not tell it to anyone. Unfortunately passwords don’t work that way. Every time you sign in you have to tell the website your password, making it more challenging to keep the secret safe. That’s why we recommend turning on two-step verification for your account, which adds an extra layer of difficulty for anyone who has guessed, eavesdropped on, or tricked you into giving them your password. And it’s why we’re excited today to announce support for WebAuthn (“Web Authentication”) in two-step verification, a new standard for strong authentication on the web.

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MacOS monitoring the open source way

Let’s say a machine in your corporate fleet gets infected with malware. How would you detect it? How could you find out what happened on the machine? What did the malware do? Did it steal your browser’s passwords? What network connections did the malware make? Was it looking for crypto currency? By having good telemetry and a good host monitoring solution for your machines you can collect the context necessary to answer these important questions.

Proper host monitoring on macOS can be very difficult for some organizations. It can be hard to find mature tools that proactively detect security incidents.

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Protecting Security Researchers

At Dropbox, we encourage, support, and celebrate independent open security research.

One way we do this is via our bug bounty program. We recently tripled our rewards to industry leading values. We also celebrated some of the amazing hacker community results with top-up bonuses, where we retroactively issued additional rewards for particularly unusual, clever, or high-impact findings.

This post, however, is not about bug bounty programs. While a well-run bug bounty program is mandatory for maintaining top-tier security posture, this post is about the foundation on which bug bounty programs are built: the Vulnerability Disclosure Policy (VDP).

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Security at scale: the Dropbox approach

The Dropbox Security Team is responsible for securing over 500 petabytes of data belonging to over half a billion registered users across hundreds of thousands of businesses. Securing data at this scale requires a security team that is not only well-resourced, but also one that can keep ahead of the expansion of our platform. We focus on scaling our own leverage, so each new security person we add multiplies the impact of our team.

Over the course of this year—and beyond—we’ll go into more detail on how Dropbox approaches security and some of the projects we’ve tackled. Protecting Dropbox requires serious investments in security.

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