Exciting news for those working in the tech industry in Spain or those interested in working in the tech industry in Spain. This week Google has opened its largest European cybersecurity centre so far: and it has opened this in Spain.
This center has opened in the southern Spanish city of Malaga in what has been referred to as <Malaga Valley’ (a play on America’s Silicone Valley) due to the huge number of international tech companies based there.
Here’s what you need to know about this new centre and how it might impact you:
Where Is The New Google Cyber Centre?
The new Google cyber centre is a huge building that you can’t miss! This is a 2,500 square metre structure that is located just a short distance away from the Malagueta beach in downtown Malaga. To make sure you definitely know that this is a Google building the main gate at the entrance to the building has a giant "G" emblazoned on it. Google are very keen to make their presence known.
Google chose Malaga as the site for its European hub when it 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 the employees from this firm who remained in Spain that will work from the new Google Safety Engineering Centre (GSEC).
According to a Google representative “The choice of Málaga to host this new hub is not coincidental...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”.
Malaga is a hugely attractive destination for international tech companies right now and Google isn’t the only company choosing to establish a base in the region. 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.
How Many Tech Companies Are Currently Based In Malaga?
In the Malaga Tech Park right now you will find 630 tech companies. 60 of these are large international brands. The importance of this hub really can’t be underestimated and it has a significant impact on the local economy. It employs over 20,000 professionals and represents 1.65 percent of GDP and employment for the region of Andalusia. If you’re a tech professional hoping to work in Spain then it’s likely that you will work in Malaga.
And tech professionals continue to flock to Malaga for this reason. As a result Málaga was also recently voted the best city in the world for foreign residents in the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2023. This is great news for expats living in Spain but many local residents and citizens are not so excited about this development which they feel is detrimental to their own interests.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is an increasingly important tool both from a business perspective as well as on a national level. The European Union and Google have both 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".
This is why Google is placing such a strong emphasis on its cybersecurity division and is working on an international scale to ensure these kinds of attacks can be prevented.
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.
This new cybersecurity centre is not the only one established by Google in Europe. It already has centres in Munich and Dublin. But the Malaga hub will play an important role in housing experts building tools to combat cyber threats as well as helping to train government officials, companies and NGOs.
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