Google today announced that it has allocated $1 million for grants to give out for security vulnerability research, even when the research doesn’t directly lead to the discovery of bugs.
This initiative, which was first introduced at the beginning of 2015, is in addition to Google’s Vulnerability Reward Program for bug bounties, which has existed since 2010. Today’s financial commitment suggests that Googlers have concluded that the more experimental grant program isn’t such a wild idea after all.
“The end result of these ongoing efforts is a product that — unlike your garden-variety hard drive — actually gets better over time,” Google Drive product manager Kevin Nelson wrote in a blog post on the news.
The grant program, which doles out as little as $500 and as much as $3,133.70, helps distinguish Google in the world of security research, where bug bounties have become very popular. Even startups have popped up to help companies maintain them.
Google Drive isn’t Google’s most popular service (240 million users as of September 2014, compared with more than 1 billion for YouTube), but as the company angles for more enterprise business for its cloud file-sharing service — and competes with the likes of Microsoft and Box — it wants to look enterprise grade. Strong security surely helps there.
More detail on the grant program is here.