Google Spending $1M to Make Sure Drive Doesn’t Get Hacked

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Dedicates $1M In Research Grants To Keep Google Drive Safe.

The company is setting aside an extra $1 million to fund grants for independent Drive vulnerability research in 2016. 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.The company says in 2016, it will spend that cash to fund independent security research focussed on Drive, while continuing to offer up to $20,000 to anyone who finds and reports issues. 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.

Funding these independent projects is interesting, mainly because it shows Google’s dedication to keeping Drive out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The new pledge comes after Google in January launched an “experimental” Vulnerability Research Grants program through which researchers can earn awards before they ever submit a bug.

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. Under the program, grant amounts start at $500 and top out at $3,133.70. “Keeping files safe in Google Drive is super important,” Nelson wrote. “That’s why Drive uses Google’s highly secure, custom-built data centers to store your photos, videos, and other documents. But it’s not just fences, cameras, and lasers that keep things safe — it’s people.” Google employs more than 500 security experts, but the company also relies on a network of independent researchers, and that’s where the grants and vulnerability awards come in. 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.

You can now narrow your search to a specific file type — like PDFs, text documents, spreadsheets, photos, presentations, or videos — right from the search box on iOS, Android, and the Web. Google knows that every cloud storage company is one security breach away from getting left in the dust, so this type of dedication isn’t surprising.

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