Google's new cybersecurity chief cooking up exciting projects

Meet Gerhard Eschelbeck, Google's Vice President of Security Engineering

gerhard eschelbeck

Gerhard Eschelbeck

Credit: Dragan Tatic

The new head of Google's Security and Privacy Team, Gerhard Eschelbeck, was recruited to the company in late 2014. With all of Google's internally developed talent including the founders and CTOs from its numerous security company acquisitions, this hire really stands out.

For someone who oversees corporatewide security, the title is usually CSO (chief security officer) or CISO (chief information security officer). But Eschelbeck carries the title 'VP of Security Engineering'. His background is heading up product engineering for some of the top cyberecurity vendors globally including UK-based Sophos (for the three years most recently prior to joining Google), Webroot, Qualys, and McAfee (now Intel Security).

"Since I came to Google last fall, the Security & Privacy team has continued moving quickly to improve online security and privacy for all" said Eschelbeck, in a recent blog post which he published on LinkedIn. "In my time thus far, I've seen our team work on such high impact projects as creating new types of security scanners (Cloud App Scanner and Firing Range), researching new types of DDoS attacks, protecting trust in digital certificates, protecting the mobile Android ecosystem, and much more".

Hmmm... sounds like Google is cooking up some exciting new security products and services for its esteemed developer community. Their new cybersecurity chief - or shall we say, chef - certainly has the experience to bake them.

Eschelbeck continued in his blog post "At the heart of what we do, we seek to protect Google, Googlers, and the internet broadly. As an internet-driven company, it's part of our team's charter to leverage our internal systems for broader use where possible, through open sourcing software, writing standards for all to use, and creating systems to protect the internet. Just imagine what you could do with the computing power of a Google data center to protect the web."

WIth a user base of more than 2 billion people, heading up security for Google is an extraordinary challenge - and Eschelbeck clearly understands.

The Google Security & Privacy Team is 500 people strong and growing. "Our people are the key to why we're able to be fast and effective, making our product experiences safer for hundreds of millions of people," he added in the post. Eschelbeck stands ready, willing, and able to lead and inspire Google's cadre of cybersecurity experts and engineers.

[ ALSO: How hackers used Google in stealing corporate data ]

Eschelbeck concluded his blog post with a call-out to the cybersecurity community announcing Google job openings including security software engineers, information security engineers, intrusion analysts, security incident response engineers, and technical program managers for privacy.

There's stiff competition for cybersecurity talent these days - and Google's new cybersecurity chief may find that recruiting is his most challenging task. With a workforce of over 50,000 employees at Google, their Security & Privacy Team is approximately 1% of the employee count. That percentage is likely to go up as security is central to everything the company does... and especially if Google takes more security products and services out of the oven.

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