Google’s parent has made its first big play in cyber security

Alphabet, Google’s parent, has made its first big play in cyber security with a product to allow businesses to analyse huge amounts of internal data. Chronicle, an Alphabet subsidiary, said yesterday it was launching Backstory, a platform where companies can hold security data in a private cloud and search “instantly” for threats and potential breaches. The company said it would use Google’s technology and computing power to hold client data going back years, where other services typically store up to 30 days’ information. Alphabet is entering a crowded market inhabited by the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, McAfee and a long list of start-ups. Cyber attacks are common as hackers become more sophisticated and hostile state cyber activity rises. Chronicle began in 2016 as a as one of the “moon shot” projects run by X, Alphabet’s secretive research and development arm, before being spun out early last year. It is part of Alphabet’s so-called other bets — operations beyond the core Google unit — which include Waymo, the self-driving cars arm, and Verily, the life sciences division. When Chronicle was spun out of X it took with it VirusTotal, a malware tracing tool that Google bought in 2012. Backstory will cross-reference clients’ data against the VirusTotal database, public threat intelligence feeds and its own threats lists.
Hannah Murphy