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Alphabet enters the cybersecurity business with Chronicle


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Google parent company Alphabet has a new business and it's all about cybersecurity. Chronicle is an independent business under the Alphabet umbrella and it's aimed at helping companies find, track and stop cyber attacks. With two branches -- a cybersecurity and analytics platform as well as a malware intelligence service called VirusTotal -- Chronicle will use its massive processing power and data storage capabilities to both assist businesses in searching for and retrieving information much more quickly than they can on their own as well as spot patterns that may become more apparent when years of data are able to be analyzed. "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," said Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett in a blog post.


Gillett says that because companies are often hit with thousands of security alerts per day, it's almost impossible to assess all of them thoroughly. "As a result, it's pretty common for hackers to go undetected for months, or for it to take a team months to fully understand what's going on once they've detected an issue," he writes. "All this adds up to more data breaches, more damage, and higher security costs."


Inadequate cybersecurity has never been a more apparent problem than it is today. Last year we saw reports of data breaches affecting government agencies like the US Army and the NSA, companies like Equifax, Forever 21and Accenture as well as data exposures impacting voting machines, political strategists and Verizon customers. There were also multiplewidespread ransomware attacks.


Chronicle says a few Fortune 500 companies are already testing a preview of its cybersecurity intelligence platform. "None of us have to settle for cyber crime being a fact of life, or for a reactive, expensive existence of cleanup and damage control," it says. "We're looking forward to working with many organizations in the coming years to give good the advantage again."




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Alphabet hatches cybersecurity company Chronicle using Google technology


Alphabet has hatched an independent cybersecurity company from its X unit called Chronicle. The company is in the early stages of developing a cybersecurity intelligence and analytics platform using techniques used at Google.


The details about Chronicle's underlying technology for its cybersecurity platform are unclear. On Chronicle's site, the company talks in broad strokes that the technology is built on speed and scale, machine learning and services not servers. 


Chronicle was hatched two years ago and enhanced by the 2012 acquisition of VirusTotal, a malware intelligence service


Can Chronicle do well? Possibly. The cybersecurity space is littered with vendors so it's a crowded space. Then again, Chronicle can ultimately be bundled with Google Cloud Platform and have distribution to enterprises easily. 


In a blog post, Chronicle noted that it's independent, but part of Alphabet. Stephen Gillett, Chronicle CEO, said:


We'll have our own contracts and data policies with our customers, while at the same time having the benefit of being able to consult the world-class experts in machine learning and cloud computing (among many other topics) that reside in other parts of Alphabet.


Chronicle is built on the idea that "cybersecurity needs a moonshot," but enterprise technology buyers are likely to want to hear more. Nevertheless, there are large companies that'll be kicking the tires. In Chronicle's FAQ, the company noted:


The team is in the initial phases of testing a preview release with some Fortune 500 companies so it's still a little early to share details.



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