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Alphabet Launches Cybersecurity Company

Dominique Adams

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Alphabet Inc, Google’s Parent company has just launched its first AI-based cybersecurity firm in a bid to break into the rapidly expanding information security market. 

Founded as an X project in early 2016, Chronicle takes an AI-based approach to cyber security, creating a security analytics platform to offer organisations better insight and control of their data.

Chronicle says that its platform will greatly speed up the process for security teams, and is able to identify cybersecurity problems in seconds and minutes rather than hours and days. Chronicle also houses VirusTotal, one of the world’s largest malware intelligence services, which alerts businesses and anti-virus providers about emerging malware threats.

The ultimate long-term goal is to use AI-based security to find and stop cyber attacks before they happen. At the moment, they are still in the process of developing and privately testing  their AI and analytics platform as an early alpha program.

How does it work?

By combining machine learning, large amounts of computing power and large amounts of storage, Chronicle says it will be able to deliver more efficient cybersecurity. Using machine learning software, the platform will be able to sift and analyse large volumes of data to detect cyber threats more accurately in a shorter-period of time.

According to Stephen Gillett, CEO of Chronicle, not only will they increase the speed and impact of security teams, their product will make cybersecurity easier and more cost-effective by helping them to capture and analyse security signals, which previously had been too time-consuming and difficult to capture.

Astro Teller, the head of X and known as the captain of moonshots, said on his blog, “Providing better capabilities for finding the patterns in that data might not sound like much, but shrinking the time between when an attack starts and when it’s discovered (from a few months to a few hours or days) could reduce a lot of damage — and teach us what other technologies and capabilities might help us turn the tide against a widening array of vulnerabilities and attackers.”

The global cyber security market has become big business, and worth nearly $100 billion, according to market researcher Gartner. It is a crowded market, but with the cash and storage support of Alphabet, Chronicle is well positioned to pose a real competitive threat.

The rise of AI in cybersecurity

Recent years have seen a number of AI-based cyber security companies emerge: Darktrace was founded by Cambridge University mathematicians and ex-British intelligence personnel, and Zonefox, was spun-out from Edinburgh Napier University. Whilst Cylance, an American software firm, claims it was the first company to apply Artificial Intelligence to cybersecurity.

Tech experts and researchers have pointed to the lack of cybersecurity talent as a driving force behind the need for companies to start using AI to combat online attacks. ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance, predicts that the lack of qualified cybersecurity applicants will lead to a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019.

The Peninsula Press, reported that more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the US went unfilled and that in the past five years such job postings were up 74%. Their Analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for positions such as information security professionals is expected to grow by 53% through 2018.

 

 

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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