Last January, Alphabet’s X Moonshot Factory announced a new cybersecurity company called Chronicle. The press release lacked intimate details and Chronicle has been silent about what the company is working on.
Chronicle is one of Alphabet’s newest “Other Bets,” which is a group of Google’s sister companies that aim to develop several innovations in the tech industry. For example, Waymo has been developing self-driving cars and Loon is striving towards high-speed internet access in remote areas. The cybersecurity industry is a potentially colossal opportunity for Alphabet. Research firm Gartner predicts cybersecurity spending will hit $96 billion in 2018, is slated to increase from there.
Chronicle CEO Stephen Gillett is now revealing some initial details about the direction his Other Bet company is headed. “Chronicle is getting closer to going public with its cybersecurity platform, but hasn’t set a date”, said Gillett in a CNBC interview. Gillett later added, “But some outsiders have viewed the planned Chronicle product, including executives at other security companies.”
Gillett said that just before the January launch, he reached out to chief executives from around 30 top cybersecurity firms in order to alleviate concerns that the technology giant’s latest company was formed to compete with them. “In order to disarm their concern, I offered them and their CTOs access to our platform,” he told CNBC on Thursday. “We have such incredible scale, what we are doing … it’s nothing that they would even attempt to do.”
Since those conversations with other cybersecurity firms, Chronicle has been alpha testing its products at a range of companies, which include Fortune 50 giants and even smaller firms. Also Chronicle has been testing across a wide span of industries including health care, government, finance, retail and others. Just this week, the Chronicle team moved into a new and permanent home, which is a new building in Mountain View, California, right next to Alphabet’s headquarters.
A large-scale advantage for the company is VirusTotal, which is a product owned by Google that has now been shifted under Chronicle’s corporate umbrella. VirusTotal is a web-based application that analyzes incoming potential threats in the form of website URLs and file attachments. VirusTotal records malware signatures of harmful activity, and gives security professionals the ability to vote on how disruptive the content may be. The product was first launched in 2004 and was purchased by Google in 2012. VirusTotal offers a valuable cache of 14 years of peer-reviewed intelligence on viruses, worms, malware and other threats. Data like this is necessary to provide meaningful thrust behind artificial intelligence or machine learning products, and it’s hard to find it all in one place in the security industry.
With an already large cache of data and a prolific company such as Google as a parent company, Chronicle is set to make a huge splash in the entire cybersecurity industry.