Google Cloud unveils its custom security chip, new security features

Titan, Google’s custom built security chip. (Image: Google)

Business leaders are growing more comfortable with the idea of moving to the cloud, but security remains one of their top concerns.

Google, however, is arguing that its innovations in security should not just allay concerns about security but in fact encourage cloud migration. The company announced several new security developments on Thursday at the Google Next conference in San Francisco, Calif.

Google unveiled a new data loss prevention API for the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), as well as a more sophisticated alternative to VPNs. Google also announced general availability of its encryption key management system for GCP, of its security key enforcement for GCP, and of Vault for Google Drive. Additionally, stressing its commitment to transparency, Google described the security chip it’s designed to use within its servers.

“We’re innovating in security, and we want that to be a major reason for moving the cloud,” Jennifer Lin, director of product management for GCP, told ZDNet.

Google has built security right into its own Google servers, with a custom chip called Titan. It’s a low-power microcontroller designed specifically for hardware security. The chip gives a cryptographic identity to a machine. During Thursday’s keynote address, Urs Hölzle, SVP of technical infrastructure for Google Cloud, actually wore the chip on his earring to demonstrate how small it is.

“Low prices doesn’t mean low security standards,” Hölzle said.



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