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Google Launches Cybersecurity Firm

Google parent company, Alphabet, is launching a new cybersecurity firm out of its X-moonshot group called “Chronicle,” which will apply machine learning and its enormous cloud-based processing power to fighting hackers, by helping large corporations analyze attacks in minutes, as opposed to hours or days. The new company will operate under the Alphabet umbrella.

Add in some machine learning and better search capabilities, and we think we’ll be able to help organizations see their full security picture in much higher fidelity than they currently can. –Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillet


Stephen Gillet

Former Symantec COO and board member, Stephen Gillet, will head the new venture after having joined the X-moonshot division in January, 2016. Gillet explained of X: “We want to 10x the speed and impact of security teams’ work by making it much easier, faster and more cost-effective for them to capture and analyze security signals that have previously been too difficult and expensive to find. We are building our intelligence and analytics platform to solve this problem.”

To accomplish this, Chronicle will be powered by Alphabet’s vast and powerful cloud computing infrastructure, which Gillett says will provide a massive speed advantage over traditional methods of analyzing attacks. Second, Google’s incredibly cheap storage will allow Chronicle customers to take advantage of machine learning to “see patterns that emerge from multiple data sources and over years.” 

 

While Chronicle doesn’t exactly have a product yet – as they are in an “early alpha program” of its “cybersecurity intelligence platform,” the company’s website is up and running at https://chronicle.security/, and has made two introductory blog posts (here and here). The venture also has a twitter account which has made precisely one tweet as of this writing. 

Gillet writes

Today I’d like to introduce you to Chronicle, a new independent business within Alphabet that’s dedicated to helping companies find and stop cyber attacks before they cause harmX, the moonshot factory, has been our home for the last two years while we figured out where we had the potential to make the biggest impact on this enormous problem. Now we’re ready to unveil our new company, which will have two parts: a new cybersecurity intelligence and analytics platform that we hope can help enterprises better manage and understand their own security-related data; and VirusTotal, a malware intelligence service acquired by Google in 2012 which will continue to operate as it has for the last few years.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Chronicle, a new independent business within Alphabet that’s dedicated to helping companies find and stop cyber attacks before they cause harm. X, the moonshot factory, has been our home for the last two years while we figured out where we had the potential to make the biggest impact on this enormous problem. Now we’re ready to unveil our new company, which will have two parts: a new cybersecurity intelligence and analytics platform that we hope can help enterprises better manage and understand their own security-related data; and VirusTotal, a malware intelligence service acquired by Google in 2012 which will continue to operate as it has for the last few years.

Chronicle was originally launched in February 2016 as an “X” division collaboration between Gillet, Google security experts Mike Wiacek and Shapor Naghibzadeh, and Bernardo Quintero – who built malware intelligence service VirusTotal that alerts businesses and anti-virus providers about new malware threats. 

While Chronicle has said it’s databases will be kelt separate from Alphabet and adhering to “our own contracts and data policies with our customers,” it will be interesting to see if Google’s new sibling will eventually be able to tap into other data sets in hot pursuit of hackers.