High-tier audit companies often provide additional audit services and solutions for continuous monitoring, pentesting, and incident response assistance. On the other hand, low-quality firms may be incompetent, unprofessional, and not experienced enough to detect critical vulnerabilities and complex issues. That’s why knowing the quality and professional expertise of the best smart contract auditors is vital for judging the safety of the target project. Therefore, before picking a suitable candidate for auditing your projects, always do your due diligence and research to ensure the firm quality.
To ease your research process, we have classified some well-known smart contract audit firms into different groups based on their past performance and professional experience. So, without further ado, let’s get into the topic.
Top Smart Contract Auditing Providers: Ranked
We have ranked the crypto audit companies below based on multiple factors, including auditing history, provided services, and security team professionalism. Generally, all audit companies can be divided into four main groups:
- Industry Leaders
- Recommended Auditing Firms
- Acceptable Auditing Firms
- Not Recommended Auditors
Let’s review each group of these top smart contract auditors in detail.
#1 Industry Leaders
The audit companies falling into the category of industry leaders are mostly the golden standard for competence, diligence, and thoroughness. However, the security audit prices of these crypto auditing companies are relatively high and can be suitable only for significant enterprises.
The category of our ranked industry leaders can confidently open the Ukrainian auditing and blockchain security firm Hacken. It’s one of the famous names among high-tier smart contract auditing companies due to its quality services and security solutions. Some core services offered by the crypto audit company include:
- Blockchain Security Evaluation
- Mobile and Web Penetration Testing
- Smart Contract Auditing
- Crypto Exchange Ratings
- Bug Bounty Program Coordination
The Hacken team has performed over 900 audits for various blockchain protocols and DeFi projects of any complexity level. These include anything from cryptos and launchpads to decentralized exchanges and security network platforms.
During its professional journey, Hacken managed to gain the trust and support of many major crypto exchanges and blockchain platforms such as KuCoin, Huobi, FTX, etc. More importantly, this security firm also has an extensive list of reputable connections and partners, which add an extra level of reliability to Hacken’s provided audit services. Some significant partners include Coingecko, Avalanche, Ethereum Foundation, and CoinMarketCap.
ConsenSys is one of the giants of the cyber security industry with the quality level of provided smart contract auditing services. Its primary focus is on the Ethereum blockchain, and most of the firm’s technologies and resources are dedicated to creating and developing Ethereum applications and software, specifically financial ecosystems.
In the smart contract auditing circles, ConsenSys Diligence is famous for the variety of its open-source and closed-source products, including MythX, which is one of the most powerful automated vulnerability scanners to date. Furthermore, MythX provides a robust API designed for cyber security professionals and smart contract auditors to access blockchain security analysis tools and resources.
Some of the well-known protocols audited by the security team of ConsenSys Diligence include Bancor, FEI, PoolTogether, Aave, ENS, Balancer, and more.
Trail of Bits
Another leading figure in the world of smart contract and blockchain security audits is Trail of Bits. This crypto audit company offers software security consulting and tools for blockchain application development and smart contract audits. Additionally, the Trail Of Bits team of security experts provides organizations and businesses with high-level cryptography and overall infrastructure protection.
Trail of Bits also conducts a massive amount of open source work. Lately, their team of security experts has discovered critical vulnerabilities in widely used open-source encryption libraries.
Our list of high-tier security audit companies will be incomplete without Runtime Verification. It’s a solid, smart contract audit and blockchain security firm with a core focus on formal verification, which has become a distinguishing feature and welcoming card of Runtime’s security team.
Formal verification provides high-quality and comprehensive auditing results by mathematically validating that a written smart contract code meets all predetermined requirements and the original set of determining standards.
Runtime Verification has a long list of prominent partners and connections; some of the notable names include Tezos, Algorand, OlymusDAO, Beacon Chain, Gnosis, Maker, and others.
#2 Recommended Smart Contract Auditing Firms
These are security firms with high-quality services lacking only the proven history of top-level security providers. It’s a good choice for enterprises looking for solid security testing but can’t allow themselves to pay expensive service prices set by Industry Leader crypto audit companies.
It’s a full-service security firm providing blockchain security, smart contract audits, and blockchain security consultation. Halborn has a proven experience of professional activity in securing projects’ smart contracts and entire infrastructures. What’s more, the blockchain security company performs contract audits for alternative blockchain networks, including Solana, Algorand, Cosmos, NEAR, Tezos, and of course, Ethereum smart contracts.
Moreover, their publicly available audit reports are of high quality, and there are no found exploits of Halborn audited projects and protocols. Halborn also has a blog with a series of different articles and news releases covering specific incident post-mortems, general protection and security, and details of Halborn discoveries and findings such as the 0-day bug in Cosmos Smart Contracts.
It is a smart contract audit company that also provides ongoing security monitoring and revising. Dedaub’s security professionals and auditors team has conducted smart contract audits for major, solid entities such as the Ethereum Foundation, Chainlink, Lido, and Immunify. Moreover, they are one of the active participants in the on-chain security ecosystem, identifying and mitigating several extremely critical bugs and security vulnerabilities in the wild.
Dedaub also has a notable blog that contains detailed breakdowns of their most significant findings, such as the Billion Dollar No-Op. You can also fund some of their audit reports which are publicly available and have good quality.
Another firm fitting the category of recommended audit companies is Paladin specializing in smaller protocol audits. Micro-cap companies and projects carry a considerable risk of security exploits and data breaches. The reasons for this can be different, including the lack of technical knowledge or malicious teams. Smaller projects can also experience compromised admin credentials, governance attacks, exploits, etc., none of which smart contract auditor cover.
During this time, two known projects were audited by the Paladin team that were exploited. One is the famous VultureSwap which lost almost $500k after the developers failed to properly implement necessary fixes to the vulnerabilities. Another one is a protocol that performed modifications after the Paladin audit, resulting in errors leading to the security exploit.
ChainSecurity is a Switzerland-based blockchain security provider that has extensively worked with Curve, Maker, and others. During the professional journey of the ChainSecurity team, no significant exploits took place.
Like other cyber security firms, this auditing company provides smart contract auditing and blockchain security consulting to businesses of any kind and size. It has a rich track and a history of working with several major protocols and handling projects with a value of billions of UDS.
#3 Acceptable Smart Contract Auditing Firms
Firms that are generally acceptable but lack in many different ways and have various issues can be classified into this group of auditors. For example, they may have black spots on their track history, witnessed security incidents during their expertise, or just do unexceptional work.
Omnisicia is a relatively new auditing company with over 80 performed security audits in its professional biography. However, the crypto audit company focuses mainly on younger protocols, counting Rari, OlymusDAO, Tokemank, and KlimaDAO.
What’s notable about Omnisicia is that all audit reports are publicly available, so other experts or clients can easily access information about the firm’s past performance and crucial findings. Moreover, Omnisicia Twitter is one of the active accounts among other security firms, which along with standard blockchain security company updates, covers educational content and resources as well.
One of the well-known blockchain security providers with a huge pile of projects and protocols under its belt is indeed Quantstamp. Its security team has performed smart contract audits of high complexity and high profile projects, including the Binance, Solana, and Cordano blockchain networks.
So why is Quantstamp only in the third group of our ranking? It’s mainly because several Quantstamp-certified protocols have suffered significant financial losses from high-profile hacking attacks in the past. And though all the security exploits have particularly complicated factors shifting the blame from the firm itself, the reputation of Quantstamp has still been influenced by it.
It just shows that even a high-level security provider like Quantstamp can’t guarantee 100 % protection to your projects and systems. There is still a remaining percent of risk that can cause considerable damages in case of successful exploits.
Founded in 2014, Coinspect is a blockchain technology security and smart contract auditing firm providing a wide variety of services. These solutions include security consultation, penetration testing, contract audits, and more. And although Coinspect doesn’t have records of big exploits, it still has a way to go in order to become a high-tier auditing firm. It’s mainly because the firm’s security team doesn’t have records of large-sized and complex audits on their account. However, the publicly available audit reports prove their service quality is quite good.
#4 Not Recommended Auditors
As you can already guess from the category name, these firms have poor track records and massive issues. Moreover, while using the blockchain security services of these smart contract auditing companies, you can even worsen the security of your systems instead of enhancing them. So, avoiding such audit providers is better than carrying the heavy consequences later.
The first firm we included in our not recommended auditors is a Chinese blockchain and security provider, PeckShield. What’s notable is that the company has conducted audits for a various wide range of protocols and projects, including several PancakeSwap smart contracts and the original audit of OlymusDAO. Unfortunately, PeckShield is a frequent visitor to the Rekt leaderboard, making the firm an attractive target for hackers and malicious actors.
And though we don’t recommend PeckShield as a reliable audit provider option, they still have a very useful Twitter page containing a lot of educational and helpful resources and articles.
Arcadia Group is a smart contract security and blockchain development company based in Texas. Their security team provides software development and audit solutions, as well as provides security experts team members to other teams on a contract basis.
The colossal blow that blackened the name of Arcadia Group and made it fall from the highest positions was the security incident of Cover. This decentralized insurance protocol audited by Arcadia Group experienced infinite mint exploit cases causing Cover to lose over $9 million in user funds.
The last name in this category of auditors belongs to Solidity Finance. In general, it is one of the pioneers in the cybersecurity industry and has performed more than 1400 security audits during its professional journey. Unfortunately, the company has three high-profile security exploits on its track history, which resulted in the audited projects losing over $50 million altogether. Moreover, Solidity Finance’s publicly available audit reports are also of inferior quality, including only automatic static analysis reporting and several pages of simple notes.
The Bottom Line
Smart contract audits are an essential and indispensable component of overall cyber security solutions. Comprehensive security audits from a professional firm help the best crypto audit companies of any size to identify existing bugs and vulnerabilities and ensure the protocol follows all the security regulations. However, no single security firm and audit provider can guarantee its clients absolute and complete protection. There’s always a risk of hacking possibility and security breaches that anyone can encounter at one point in time. That being the case, experienced, smart contract auditing companies employ highly qualified and competent security professionals who can conduct comprehensive and proper assessments and reviews, helping businesses minimize the potential exploitation probability and prepare the system for immediate response action.
There is no single doubt about the importance of security audits. However, we should remember that a mere audit process, no matter how comprehensive and proper, can’t completely clean all security mechanisms from various possible vulnerabilities and potential hacking attacks or guarantee a risk-free security system afterward. Attacks and exploits are unpredictable in nature; anything from an unconscious mistake to a minor bug in the written code can lead to irreversible damages in case of successful exploits. And it has nothing much to do with the auditing services.
However, smart contract auditing firms in this industry still play a significant role in protecting the security systems and identifying existing issues and vulnerabilities of target projects. And though they can’t fully secure the project’s smart contracts, networks, or applications, a professional and high-quality audit will ensure a bug-free infrastructure and help you minimize the risks of data leakage and security incidents. But it’s only the case if the security auditing provider has a proven history record and impressive professional background on their track.
So, it’s always recommended to conduct thorough research on the available auditing options, weigh their advantages and disadvantages, understand their way of working and implemented approaches, and review the previous audit cases and reports to understand their past performance better. Only after detailed research can you make your choice, as it will help you avoid unpleasant outcomes and ensure the company’s reliability.