Google consolidates its presence in Montreal

Google wants to be more present in Canada. Seen from Montreal, it starts with the inauguration of new offices in the heart of downtown, where there will be a lot of talk about computer security, cloud computing solutions and services for businesses and governments.

Google Canada was to organize a small ceremony on September 12 to formalize the opening of its offices at 425 Viger Avenue West, renovated to accommodate the Californian giant on the theme of sustainability and all-Montreal effervescence. However, the death of Queen Elizabeth II forced the postponement of this activity.

These offices will be the starting point for Google representatives who will try to seduce the Montreal and Quebec business world, as well as public organizations that have to manage large quantities of digital data. Somewhat in the shadow of Amazon and Microsoft, Google continues to struggle to remain among the leaders in cloud computing services.

The hoped-for digital shift of the Quebec government’s activities and its revision of laws that will soon more strictly frame the way companies can collect and use citizens’ personal data are two cases where the Mountain View company thinks it can gain market share. in the province.

With ETS, Concordia and Polytechnique, we have a fairly large community of researchers and experts in Montreal.

“Our strategy has two components, focused on offering a secure cloud computing solution on the one hand and tools for office workers on the other,” summarized in an interview with Le Devoir Phil Venables, General Manager of the data security for the entire Google group. “We have good knowledge globally of how to deal with data to comply with frameworks like the [la Loi modernisant des dispositions législatives en matière de protection des renseignements personnels] », the former Bill 64.

The will of the outgoing Quebec government to create a digital wallet, secure and universal for each of the residents of the province does not scare Google either. The security expert only hopes that Quebec will not create its own solution which will be incompatible with what Apple, Google and the others are already offering. Mr. Venables can be reassured, Quebec has specialists who closely study all the options.

The end of the password

Just about every player in the computer security industry these days is talking about a more secure future where people log in without having to resort to a password. These discussions are done through an organization called the FIDO Alliance. Giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are members.

If they ever manage to actually make the password disappear, it could also affect Google’s operations in Montreal, where its researchers are among the world’s leading specialists in email security. Email systems in general and the Gmail service in particular. “Our priority is to protect Google first and foremost, but we have quite a diverse expertise in Montreal that goes beyond protecting Gmail mailboxes,” says Pierre-Marc Bureau, programmer for Google. Its Montreal center studies current cyber threats in an attempt to thwart them: phishing, malware, ransomware, etc.

Mr. Bureau recalls that the Quebec metropolis has a good number of computer security experts, but that we sometimes forget to mention it. According to him, by combining university research in the field with what companies like Google are doing, there would be a way to create another technological pole in the city.

“With ETS, Concordia and Polytechnique, we have a fairly large community of researchers and experts in Montreal,” says the Google expert. “We’re not there yet, but I dream of seeing this community become as attractive to Montreal as artificial intelligence is today. »

Obviously, this will have to go through the creation of companies, the opening of new research centers and regional headquarters, as has been done in AI and multimedia in the last twenty years. And even if Montreal cybersecurity isn’t there yet, it can still count on Google’s more sustained presence to stimulate this growth… and that of cloud computing services as well, of course.

To see in video

Leave a Comment