Google is the global leader in Internet search. It’s the number-one player in Internet advertising. It’s widely known for their productivity apps including Gmail and Docs. Google has become a major force in the mobile space with their Android operating system. If you ask a Google fan or follower what else the company does, you’ll hear about dozens of brands including Adwords, Google Maps, Google Earth, the Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Wallet, Google+, Blogger, Picasa, Google Play and others. Google is also listed on the Cybersecurity 500 as one of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies.
If you follow the cybersecurity space and the billions of dollars that are flowing into it, then here’s what you should know about Google.
Google’s cybersecurity acquisitions
Google has made some noteworthy cybersecurity acquisitions over the years. Looking at the list of companies acquired, it’s clear that this has also been a strategy for acquiring top security talent. Acquisitions include:
- GreenBorder (2007): provided virtualization safe zones for online activities and used to include sandboxing into its Chrome Web browser
- Postini (2007): used to build email security and malware protection into its Gmail service
- reCAPTCHA technology (2009): asks users to enter words seen in distorted text images onscreen and protects websites from automated bots and other threats
- VirusTotal.com (2012): a free service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans and all kinds of malware.
- Imperium (2014): cybersecurity developer that fights spam, fraud and abuse; Imperium’s team was merged into Google’s security team
- SlickLogin (2014): developer of unique user authentication and identity management technology that is an alternative to traditional password-based systems
- Spider.io (2014): providing anti-malware that helps online advertisers detect and stop online fraud
- Dropcam (2015): Dropcam (now part of Google’s Nest smart home business) lets users place cameras throughout a home for live viewing and recording – a home-security play.
Google Cloud Security Scanner
Google released a beta version of its Cloud Security Scanner earlier this year, in February. The Google Cloud Security Scanner is designed to scan apps running in the cloud for security vulnerabilities. Google developers and customers will use the scanner to guard against attacks on its Web applications.
Web application security scanners have been around for years. But they are not always well suited to Google App Engine developers. While a small cybersecurity company might seek VC funding in order to go to market with an innovative new Web security scanner that targets the Google developer community, Google has the deep pockets to engineer its own scanner as another ho-hum but immensely useful service.
Speaking of cybersecurity startups and deep pockets, Google Ventures is one of the top-10 investors in this space.
Google Ventures is a VC fund financed by Google. According to the Google website, the fund has a whopping $300 million to invest each year, and they look for the most innovative and interesting startup founders.
Some of the cybersecurity companies they’ve recently invested in include Duo Security, Recorded Future, Ionic Security, Shape Security, Synack and ThreatStream.
Google’s popular mission statement, which you can read on its website, is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Considering the Google security team employs more than 500 people who help protect and defend the world’s largest user base of over two billion people, perhaps they might think about changing the mission statement to: “Google’s mission is to organize and secure the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Flows nicely.
Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.