Google Cloud Hires Goldman Sachs Man as First CISO

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Google has hired the first security boss for its cloud business in the form of British-born Phil Venables.

A 25+ year veteran of the industry with experience in CISO roles in some of the world’s biggest banks, Venables officially joined Google Cloud this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

After graduating from the University of York with a BSc in Computer Science, Venables went on to gain a Masters in computation at Oxford University before starting his career at a range of petrochemical, defense and finance companies.

This led to a stint as information security manager at Barclays, before CISO roles at Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and eventually Goldman Sachs, where he remained for two decades, moving into the private equity part of the business recently.

His role as VP at Google will involve not only a focus on inward-facing security but also helping to solve customer challenges.

According to the latest figures from October, Google remains in third place in the global cloud infrastructure market with a share of 7%, some way behind Microsoft Azure (19%) and AWS (32%). It’s also coming under strong pressure from Alibaba Cloud (6%).

All four are battling to secure new business customers attracted to the cloud as they look for ways to streamline business processes, drive innovation and improve IT efficiency amidst a pandemic-fuelled recession.

At Google Cloud, Venables will continue to work on best practices for cloud migration and security standards, according to reports. The platform has a good reputation in security circles: although it is in some ways less mature than the likes of AWS, that has meant security could be baked into more services from the start.

“Cloud becomes almost like a digital immune system, in that it’s detecting issues and then rapidly providing support for all of their customers to help defend themselves,” Venables is quoted as saying.

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