A new subsidiary focusing on cybersecurity was recently established by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The subsidiary will be known as Chronicle and will be charged with the responsibility of leveraging the machine learning technologies and cloud infrastructure of Google to counter threats in the cyberspace. Stephen Gillett, a former chief operating officer of anti-virus firm Symantec, will become the chief executive officer of the unit. According to Gillett the new Google unit will consist of two parts with distinct responsibilities.
“[Chronicle] 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,” wrote Gillett in a blog post.
Google is not the only Silicon Valley giant to have a cybersecurity unit however. IBM for instance has a cybersecurity business which provides security solutions to enterprises. Cisco also bundles security solutions alongside its networking software and hardware business and it has become the faster growing business of the company.
Redmond, Washington-based software maker, Microsoft, is also in the cybersecurity business and has plans to spend approximately $1 billion on an annual basis on cybersecurity research and development. This investment will not include acquisitions. In the recent past Microsoft has acquired smaller cybersecurity firms such as Hexadite, Adallom and Aorato. Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure also offers security services that are subscription-based. The leading provider of cloud computing services in the world, Amazon Web Services, also provides several security features which are based on the cloud for its customers.
Part of the reason why Google unveiled Chronicle was to avoid a reliance on cybersecurity products that are offered by third parties. And by offering cybersecurity services alongside other cloud services, Google Cloud will be in a position to lock in customers while generating subscription-based revenues. Additionally starting the unit is a way of diversifying income streams away from digital advertising. In the most recent reported quarter, about 87% of Google’s revenues were generated from online ads.
The launch of the new Google unit comes in the wake of the internet giant indicating that thousands of new job positions will be created across the United States as the company opens new facilities and expands existing ones. Currently Google ha six data centers in the United States but is planning on building five more in the course of this year. Each data center typically leads to hundreds of job opportunities.