Google creates cybersecurity team to respond to increased hacks

Google creates cybersecurity team to respond to increased hacks
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Google on Tuesday announced the creation of a new cybersecurity team to help respond to attacks against governments and other critical groups, along with a new program to help strengthen the cybersecurity of businesses. 

The Google Cybersecurity Action Team will be made up of company cybersecurity experts, and will provide customers with incident response services, advisory services for security plans, and ways to deploy Google Cloud in a secure way that will make it more difficult for these customers to be successfully targeted by hackers. 

“Cybersecurity is at the top of every C-level and board agenda, given the increasing prominence of software supply chain exploits, ransomware, and other attacks,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in a statement Tuesday. “The Google Cybersecurity Action Team is part of our ongoing commitment to be the best partner for our enterprise and government customers along their security transformation journey."

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Phil Venables, the CISO and vice president of Google Cloud, told reporters ahead of the announcement of the new team that they hoped it would be the “world’s premier cybersecurity advisory team.”

“This group has a singular mission, supporting the security and digital transportation of governments and critical infrastructure, enterprises, and small businesses, and really the vision of this team is to guide customers through the cycle of their security transformation,” Venables said. 

Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), praised Google for the action, particularly following the establishment by CISA of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) to help defend the nation against cyberattacks. Google Cloud is a member of the group. 

“It’s great to see a large company like Google Cloud orient itself to support the cybersecurity of all organizations large and small through its Cybersecurity Action Team, and as part of the JCDC and other initiatives, we look forward to partnering with them and other tech companies in this vital effort,” Easterly said in a statement Tuesday. 

The Google Cybersecurity Action Team is part of a wider array of cybersecurity initiatives Google is pursuing, which also include the $10 billion the company pledged to invest in cybersecurity over the next five years following a meeting at White House. 

These efforts also include the Work Safer Program, announced by Google on Tuesday. The program combines Google Workspace with cybersecurity offers from cyber groups Palo Alto Networks and CrowdStrike to help organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks, such as small businesses and other groups working remotely. 

“As daily headlines attest, threats are increasing and vulnerabilities in older communication and collaboration systems continue to be exploited,” Sunil Potti, vice president and general manager of Google Cloud Security, said in a statement Tuesday. “Work Safer makes it easier for organizations to adopt a much stronger security posture to defend against phishing, malware, ransomware, and other cyberattacks.”

The programs are being rolled out in the wake of a difficult year in cybersecurity, with both government and private sector groups being hit by attacks.

These have included the SolarWinds hack, discovered in December, which allowed Russian government-backed hackers to compromise at least nine U.S. federal agencies, along with ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS USA in May that disrupted critical supply chains.