Security

New Alphabet security firm uses big data and machine learning to protect businesses

Chronicle, a previously undisclosed company out of Alphabet's X, could win Google's parent company some fans in the corporate world.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Alphabet launched Chronicle, a cybersecurity company that uses big data to detect cyberthreats and protect against attacks.
  • Alphabet's Chronicle, marketed as an enterprise solution, could help the firm gain credibility among business leaders.

Google parent company Alphabet has launched a new cybersecurity firm called Chronicle, that uses big data to help identify cyberthreats and reduce the impact of potential attacks. Announced via a Wednesday blog post, Chronicle was incubated in Alphabet's X division, known for its moonshots.

Since Chronicle aims to simplify security for businesses, it could help Alphabet further establish itself as a trusted partner in enterprise technology. Alphabet has been working to increase its enterprise appeal with G Suite updates, new Google Cloud features, Kubernetes, and more, and Chronicle could help it round out its offerings.

Another point of interest is Chronicle's CEO—Stephen Gillett, who formerly worked as an executive for security giant Symantec. According to his LinkedIn profile, he began his work with Alphabet's moonshot unit in 2016.

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According to a blog post from Gillett, the goal of Chronicle is to help "companies find and stop cyber attacks before they cause harm." However, what's unclear is exactly how the company intends to do that.

Chronicle will be made up of two distinct parts, Gillett's post said. The first part is a security intelligence and analytics platform that will help companies break down their data to better understand threats. The second part is a malware intelligence service called VirusTotal, which Google acquired back in 2012. According to Gillett's post, VirusTotal will continue to operate as it has been.

Today's IT systems can generate "tens of thousands of security alerts a day," Gillett wrote, and hackers can sometimes fly under the radar for months. Chronicle wants to speed up the detection process by 10x, the post said, but it doesn't disclose the technology powering that mission. But Gillett's post did mention that part of the offering will aim to get information to security pros in minutes, rather than hours or days, while also providing large amounts of low-cost storage.

Chronicle will operate as an independent company, but will be under the umbrella of Alphabet. Other companies graduated from Alphabet's X include self-driving firm Waymo and life sciences company Verily, the post said.

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Data security grid
Image: iStockphoto/gintas77

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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