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Google opens biggest European cyber centre in Spain's Málaga

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The Local Spain/AFP - [email protected]
Google opens biggest European cyber centre in Spain's Málaga
Rooftop view of the new 2,500sqm Google cybersecurity centre in the southern Spanish city of Málaga. Photo: Google

Google on Wednesday opened its largest European cybersecurity in the southern Spanish city which has come to be known as 'Málaga Valley' for the sheer number of international tech companies it houses.

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Google confirmed on Wednesday November 29th that it has opened its new European cybersecurity centre in the Andalusian city of Málaga after a year of conversations with policy makers.

It's a 2,500sqm building a stone's throw away from the city's famed Malagueta beach in downtown Málaga. Google is not keeping a low profile either, as the building's main gate has a giant "G" emblazoned on it. 

The idea for choosing Málaga as a hub first came about when Google first acquired Málaga-based startup VirusTotal a decade ago.

The firm now boasts one of the world's largest malware databases and it will be largely these employees who never wanted to leave home for Switzerland or LA that will work from the new Google Safety Engineering Centre (GSEC).

“The choice of Málaga to host this new hub is not coincidental,” Google has previously explained.

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“This region has great talent, a vibrant startup ecosystem and incubators and accelerators of companies that have been cultivating the technological fabric for a long time”. 

Other international companies are planning their own Málaga bases, including Vodafone, Citigroup, Banco Santander, GP Bullhound and EY.

Japanese TDK, an electronic components manufacturer also announced in March that the first centre of excellence on artificial intelligence and machine learning will open in the Andalusian city, where it already had its headquarters.

Today, Málaga TechPark is home to 630 companies, 60 of them international. It employs over 20,000 professionals and represents 1.65 percent of GDP and employment for the region of Andalusia.

Málaga was also recently voted the best city in the world for foreign residents in the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2023.

The Costa del Sol capital has a real buzz about it right now, to the detriment of locals.

READ MORE: Why Spain's Málaga is becoming a victim of its own success

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Google's cybersecurity push

Both the European Union and Google have warned that the war in Ukraine showed how cyber tools could be used to destabilise democracy.

Kent Walker, Google's global affairs chief, told reporters cyberattacks had risen by 38 percent last year and were becoming "increasingly aggressive".

"We need to work together at international scale," to combat the threat, he said.

European Parliament vice president Dita Charanzova said in a video address that an estimated 230,000 pieces of malicious software were being downloaded every day.

"We have no doubt that European elections will become a target for disinformation and cyber interference," she said.

Google, which already has cybersecurity centres in Munich and Dublin, said its Málaga site would house experts building tools to combat cyber threats.

It would also help to train government officials, companies and NGOs.

The firm has spent years building up its cybersecurity armoury.

Last year, it bought American cybersecurity firm Mandiant for more than $5 billion, one of its biggest acquisitions.

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S. Chapman 2023/11/29 18:33
When will Malaga be high tech enough for Apple to open a store there? Only one in Marbella for the entire southern coast.

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