Date
23 May 2018
Google’s expertise in automated data analysis will give the group's new cyber-security unit an edge, a company executive says. Photo: Reuters
Google’s expertise in automated data analysis will give the group's new cyber-security unit an edge, a company executive says. Photo: Reuters

Google parent unveils new cyber-security unit

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, launched a new business unit on Wednesday that will sell cyber-security software to leading business enterprises.

The new unit, named Chronicle, comes in response to a growing number of security breaches in the corporate world and increasingly sophisticated hacker attacks.

The subsidiary’s chief executive, Stephen Gillett, who had earlier worked at security software firm Symantec, said access to Google’s expertise in automated data analysis will give Chronicle an edge, Reuters reports.

The unit is betting on the premise that machine learning software can sift and analyze massive stores of data to detect cyber threats more quickly and precisely than is possible with traditional methods, the report said.

The cyber-security initiative reflects Alphabet’s desire to expand beyond its core online advertising business at Google and become a major player in enterprise computing technology, Reuters noted.

Gillett, speaking on a conference call, said Chronicle aims to identify problems in seconds or minutes instead of hours or days.

The process would be aided by lowering customers’ data storage costs. Keeping years of logs can make the threat-detection process more effective, he said.

The new unit also houses VirusTotal, a virus-scanning tool Google acquired in 2012 that charges for premium features.

Gillett co-founded Chronicle in February 2016 with former Google cyber-security leaders Shapor Naghibzadeh and Mike Wiacek. 

Chronicle becomes the third business spun out of the company’s “X” research lab and into the holding company – a process it calls “graduating”, Reuters noted.

The earlier initiatives involved healthcare unit Verily and self-driving vehicle company Waymo. 

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CG/RC

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