Story image

Ten things you need to know about Chronicle, Alphabet's new cybersecurity firm

26 Jan 2018

A single post on blogging site Medium was enough to set the security industry into a frenzy this week, after Alphabet decided to extend its computing power and enter the world of cybersecurity.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and several other subsidiaries, announced rather inconspicuously that it would launch ‘Chronicle’, touted as a new independent business that will help companies detect and stop attacks before damage is done.

According to Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett, the company has been in development for the past two years.

Here are 10 things you should know about Chronicle.

1. Chronicle has been around since 2016. It was originally a project in Alphabet’s moonshot factory called X. It is now ready for public launch.

2. There are three named co-founders: CEO Stephen Gillett; CSO Mike Wiacek; and senior engineer Shapor Naghibzadeh.

3. Chronicle offers two main services. One is the Google-owned malware intelligence service VirusTotal. The other part will provide a cybersecurity intelligence and analytics platform for enterprises.

4. Chronicle’s vision, according to its website: “We see a future where enterprise security teams can find and stop cyberattacks before they cause harm. By applying planet-scale computing and analytics to security operations, we provide the tools teams need to secure their networks and their customers’ data. We turn the advantage to the forces of good.”

5. Chronicle wants to improve security teams’ detection and analytics capabilities by up to 10 times their current amount – although this may be a slight exaggeration, Chronicle says it is building its intelligence platform to capture and analyse security signals that were previously too costly and difficult to find.

6. Chronicle will leverage Alphabet’s massive infrastructure that powers Google and other initiatives. This will apparently speed analysis up to mere minutes, rather than hours or days. It will also offer better storage so Chronicle can track patterns from data over a period of years.

7. Hackers aren’t invisible – they leave traces of their existence. The problem, according to Chronicle, that those traces are undetected for months. It’s time, Chronicle says, to speed that detection process up.

8. Chronicle believes in the idea of finding patterns in data. With capabilities that can find those patterns, organisations may be able to reduce ‘a lot’ of damage and turn the tables against attackers.

9. Chronicle is one of three projects to graduate from the X moonshot factory. Other graduates include Waymo, an autonomous car firm and Verily, a life sciences firm.

10. X will now focus on other projects including robotics and free-space optics.

Privacy: The real cost of “free” mobile apps
Sales of location targeted advertising, based on location data provided by apps, is set to reach $30 billion by 2020.
Myth-busting assumptions about identity governance - SailPoint
The identity governance space has evolved and matured over the past 10 years, changing with the world around it.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
Security professionals want to return fire – Venafi
Seventy-two percent of professionals surveyed believe nation-states have the right to ‘hack back’ cybercriminals.
Alcatraz AI to replace corporate badges with AI security
The Palo Alto-based startup supposedly leverages facial recognition, 3D sensing, and machine learning to enable secure access control.
Ensign and IronNet partner to create cyber analytics capabilities
The Singapore-based joint venture will form a Cyber Analytics Center for Excellence focused on securing regional enterprises from sophisticated cyber threats.
Unencrypted Gearbest database leaves over 1.5mil shoppers’ records exposed
Depending on the countries and information requirements, the data could give hackers access to online government portals, banking apps, and health insurance records.