Alphabet’s cyber-security company, Chronicle, is expanding its presence in Europe and building a new facility to house virus hunters in Málaga, the company’s CEO told CNBC.
Chronicle is one of Alphabet’s Other Bets, the group of Google’s sister companies that are hoping to stumble on the next big thing in tech, such as self-driving cars (Waymo) or high-speed internet access in remote areas (Loon). Research firm Gartner predicts cyber-security spending will hit $96 billion in 2018, and only increase from there.
The expansion gives a glimpse into Chronicle’s strategy, which includes supporting its customers in Europe, building on the talent pool that helped create one of its most valuable sources of data, VirusTotal.
VirusTotal started in Málaga in 2004 as a free service for corporations, where they can submit files to be analyzed to see if they hide malicious software. It has been a popular cyber-security mainstay of many large corporations, and Google bought the company in 2012. It was folded into Chronicle earlier this year.
Because so many corporations provide their threat data to VirusTotal already, it helps fuel Chronicle’s goal of offering data-driven artificial intelligence services that can predict corporate cybersecurity problems ahead of time.
“Many of the [VirusTotal] team members are from the region. After VirusTotal became part of Chronicle, we increased our investment in the team and technology, we decided to continue to grow in Málaga,” said Gillett. “Having the core team located in Spain, with counterparts here in the U.S., allows us to support global customers more easily.”
Gillett declined to give specifics about headcount in the region or the square-footage of the facilities, but said the Málaga team was recently moved from a small office to a larger area within the University of Málaga, while a new facility is constructed.
Chronicle is currently hiring software engineers in Málaga, who specialize in “information retrieval, distributed computing, large-scale system design, malware analysis and threat hunting.”
Chronicle is the only Alphabet company with a large presence in Spain, he said.
Although Chronicle only moved into their new facility in Mountain View earlier this year, Gillett said the company also has plans to expand there as well: “We are growing quickly and expect to expand our facility once we outgrow our current headquarters in Mountain View.”