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Google's new centre of excellence in Malaga will be a global hub for cybersecurity

The tech giant has been giving more details of its investment at the new site next to the city’s port that will open in the second half of 2023

NURIA TRIGUERO MALAGA.

More details about the new cybersecurity ‘centre of excellence’ which Google will open in Malaga next year were released this week at the technology giant’s cybersecurity summit in Madrid. The event was attended by Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

One of the key new details to emerge at the summit was that, rather than having a focus on Europe as originally thought, the Malaga centre will be a global hub “at the heart of the digital revolution”, according to Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Google.

The official name for the centre, being built inside the shell of a historic building alongside Malaga’s port, will be the Google Safety Engineering Centre - or GSEC for short. Building work is progressing and it is due to open in the second half of 2023.

Google’s relationship with Malaga began in 2012 with the purchase of VirusTotal, a world-leading software tool to check for viruses, known as malware, in electronic documents and websites and created by Malaga entrepreneur Bernardo Quintero and his team.

Country Manager for Google España, Fuencisla Clemares, said GSEC will have a double mission: to help companies and governments to better understand how cyber threats are evolving, and to protect customers and the public in general. “We have a golden opportunity to strengthen Spain’s position in the field of cybersecurity with this hub,” she said.

More professional

In the context of cybercrime becoming increasingly more professional and used by Russia as a weapon, and as working from home is also on the rise (which multiplies the risk for organisations), Google is investing millions to expand its knowledge of threats, its intelligence and its tools to combat the problem. The company sees cybersecurity as a “team sport” and is working on alliances with public and private entities to create a protective shield against such attacks.

The Malaga hub will operate as an analysis centre, an “observatory of cybercrime”, as Wieland Holfeder, Vice-President Engineering at Google Cloud, described it.

“We are collaborating with the Spanish government and with cybersecurity agencies such as CCN-CERT to create solutions on the Cloud with full confidence and guarantees. We have also recently announced our regional online safety tour - Protect your Business - to connect with, train and provide support for small businesses,” Holfeder said.

Heading up the day-to-day running of the new GSECcentre in Malaga will be locally born Paloma Simón, who is 33. She will report to Bernardo Quintero, who will continue overseeing this Costa del Sol project now with a worldwide profile.