HomeTechnologyGoogle opened the first dedicated cyber security center in Europe in Malaga

Google opened the first dedicated cyber security center in Europe in Malaga

The technology giant is opening its facility with a capacity of 100 employees, where it aims to find tools that will make the internet a safer place.

Google has already landed in Malaga. The new headquarters of the American giant opened its doors on the Costa del Sol this Wednesday. This is the company’s third Google Security Engineering Center (GSEC) in Europe, following centers in Munich (opened in 2019) and Zurich (2021). East and Africa. “It’s a place that will allow us to redouble our efforts to make the Internet a better and safer place,” said Google Global Affairs President Kent Walker, who met with Google’s President hours before arriving in the capital of Malaga. Government. Pedro Sánchez. The modern space, which currently employs 70 people, includes employees of the VirusTotal, Google Cloud, Mandiant and Threat Analysis Group (TAG) departments of the North American multinational company. The idea is that this headquarters will also be a nexus for research, education, and the formation of alliances with public and private institutions. In Spain, Google already has offices in Barcelona and Madrid and also has a center for entrepreneurs there. Bilbao also receives the company’s telecommunications cable, which provides connections to the US and UK.

The arrival in Malaga adds icing to the cake of the process that began with the birth of VirusTotal in 2004. The person who founded this company was Bernardo Quintero from Malaga, together with other engineers. It was a service that was as simple as it was useful: a place to send a file suspected of carrying a virus to be checked and get a second opinion. He started giving money in 2009. It grew and Quintero took on the challenge of one day integrating into Google. He contacted them, they were interested, negotiations began, and three years later VirusTotal became the second Spanish company the tech company acquired. They managed to keep their headquarters in Malaga, then in a chalet. Thanks to the numbers and tools developed by the local team, a consolidation process began there, which over time encouraged Google executives to locate their new GSEC on the Costa del Sol. The idea emerged in 2018, shortly after finding the ideal location in the former military government building next to the Port of Malaga. The views convinced the Americans. They completely remodeled the building with an investment of over three million euros. And this Wednesday it became a reality. According to Pedro Sánchez, this is a sign of Spain’s “investment attractiveness”. “This puts us at the forefront of the digital and technological space,” he emphasized on Twitter.

The sun that North Americans were looking for in Malaga was found this Wednesday. A glittering day welcomed the officials and press members from half of Europe who came to the capital Malaga. At around 10 a.m., shortly before the opening ribbon was cut, Bernardo Quintero wandered around the terrace and went unnoticed by guests and media. The jacket man wanted to take a photo to immortalize that moment. “The show is on,” he said with a smile on his face, happy that his dream had become such a tangible thing for his country. “I wanted to do something for local development and Google encouraged me to do it,” he told EL PAIS a few days ago. In fact, the new center forms the basis of the technological determination of Malaga, whose growth has increased rapidly in recent years thanks to local and multinational companies that have decided to settle in the city.

“We are the Switzerland of cyber security”

“It is no coincidence that we are here. Malaga is known for having a vibrant atmosphere. centre related to initiatives Fuencisla Clemores, Google’s general manager in Spain and Portugal, noted that this being the home of VirusTotal weighed heavily in the decision. “They were the ones who started this journey in 2004 and already have millions of users,” the person in charge said. Today, it is the leading threat information exchange platform under the collective cooperation formula. “We’re like the Switzerland of cybersecurity, we’re neutral and we help billions of people,” says Quintero, who is now the multinational’s director of security engineering and celebrates the fact that the building’s interior design covers this topic. Participation by Malaga companies such as Todobarro (with a huge brick-covered wall) or artist PlayInColors, who painted two murals.

Kent Walker, Google's President of General Affairs, speaks at the main event opening of the company's new Security Engineering Center in Malaga.
Kent Walker, Google’s President of General Affairs, speaks at the main event opening of the company’s new Security Engineering Center in Malaga.ÁLEX ZEA / EUROPA PRESS (ÁLEX ZEA / EUROPA PRESS)

The new center will serve to promote the work carried out by the Malaga company since its establishment. Its staff of 60 people already work in this space, and it has recruited a dozen more colleagues from other services such as Google Cloud, Mandiant and the Threat Analysis Group. A total of 70 workers, 80% of whom are from Malaga, work in the facilities prepared for 100 people. These teams will develop tools to combat cybersecurity threats and improve the fight. “The challenge of cybersecurity requires international cooperation. And this hub is the answer and our commitment to solving user problems,” insisted Phil Venables, Director of Information Security at Google Cloud.

Google’s Malaga headquarters will also be “a collaborative space between experts, academics, companies and European governments to discuss good practices, share research and knowledge, and ultimately achieve security advances that will benefit everyone.” He met with Head of Government Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday to discuss the challenges of digitalization and artificial intelligence. These are some of the features that will be developed in the new facilities, which also feature a variety of areas designed for education. This is one of the goals that the original VirusTotal team has been developing for years, thanks to a collaboration with the University of Malaga. A recently created chair in cybersecurity and an incubator for startups in the sector is combined with the university cybersecurity specialist course, which is heading towards its sixth edition, and collaboration with the research teams of the University of Malaga.

A degree in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, a technology given special emphasis, has also been launched at Malaga GSEC. In fact, a VirusTotal report made public this morning warns about how AI is helping detect malicious code “faster, more precisely, and in a way that benefits more people.” It is also a tool that closes the gap in the shortage of malware analysts, according to Google experts, who announced a $10 million program to train people on cybersecurity in collaboration with eight universities from across Europe.

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Source: El Pais

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