OpenAI today announced the launch of their Cybersecurity Grant Program, a million-dollar effort designed to empower and facilitate the work of cybersecurity defenders worldwide. The new program extends the company's focus on building artificial intelligence that is safe and broadly beneficial to humanity.
The Cybersecurity Grant Program provides $1 million in grants and support for projects focused on developing and measuring AI-powered cyber defenses. The goal is to shift the balance of power in cybersecurity towards defenders by coordinating researchers working to address threats.
The program seeks to fund practical applications of AI for defensive security, such as tools to detect and mitigate social engineering tactics, automate incident response, analyze network activity, patch software vulnerabilities, and more. With the program, OpenAI says they aim to:
- Empower defenders: To ensure that cutting-edge AI capabilities benefit defenders first and most.
- Measure capabilities: To develop methods for quantifying the cybersecurity capabilities of AI models, in order to better understand and improve their effectiveness.
- Elevate discourse: To foster rigorous discussions at the intersection of AI and cybersecurity, encouraging a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this domain.
To guide potential grant recipients, OpenAI has suggested a range of project ideas. These include the development of AI systems capable of automated incident triage, the detection of social engineering tactics, and assistance in network or device forensics.
Other areas of interest include the creation of honeypots to misdirect or trap attackers, the automation of patch management processes, and helping developers to create software that is "secure by design and secure by default."
OpenAI welcomes applications from those who align with their vision of a secure, AI-driven future. The organization will assess applications for funding on a rolling basis, with a strong preference for practical applications of AI in defensive cybersecurity.
Funding will be awarded in increments of $10,000 USD from a fund totaling $1M USD, distributed as API credits, direct funding, or equivalents. Notably, OpenAI has clarified that offensive-security projects will not be eligible for funding.
Finally, OpenAI emphasizes that all project outcomes should be intended for maximum public benefit and sharing. As such, they will prioritize applications with clear plans to share their work with the broader community.
OpenAI's latest initiative is yet another testament to their unwavering commitment to AI safety. By supporting the global community of cybersecurity defenders, they aim to harness AI's transformative potential while minimizing the risks inherent in its deployment.
This aligns with their ongoing efforts to enhance AI security through initiatives like the Bug Bounty Program, which incentivizes the discovery and reporting of vulnerabilities in AI systems.
In an age when AI technologies are becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, such initiatives are not just commendable, they are critical. A more secure AI ecosystem benefits everyone, and we can expect that this million-dollar investment by OpenAI will contribute significantly to that goal.