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ARM Innovation Hub
7 October, 2014 - 07:28 By Tony Quested

Cambridge cybertech on track for Virgin Trains


Virgin Trains has deployed technology from Cambridge cyber defence business Darktrace to help deliver next-generation cyber intelligence and advanced threat detection.

Louis Kangurs, IT Network Manager at Virgin Trains, said: “Darktrace is a game-changer because now we have a baseline of how our users, devices and network operate and how that changes over time with our business. 

“As opposed to SIEM-based retrospective approaches, Darktrace’s cyber intelligence platform and Threat Visualizer interface provide us with absolute visibility into what is happening in real time; we can now pinpoint and target our security resources and spend much more intelligently.”

Interconnectivity with its large partner network is critical for Virgin Trains and the company decided that an immune system approach that was capable of understanding ‘self’ was beneficial. Specifically, the company wanted to be able to monitor its internal networks on a 24/7 basis and have the ability to intervene early in any situations that had the potential to disrupt the customer experience or damage Virgin’s reputation. 

Darktrace’s self-learning technology –  based on proven mathematics and machine learning developed at the University of Cambridge – forms an adaptive, probabilistic understanding of Virgin Train’s information environment, including the behaviours of its users, devices and networks.

This allows the company to detect deviations from the organisation’s normal ‘pattern of life’ as they happen and respond proactively.

Nicole Eagan, the new CEO of Darktrace said: “We are delighted to work with innovative companies such as Virgin Trains that are successfully transitioning to a proactive model of cyber intelligence. “Thanks to its machine-learning capability, the Enterprise Immune System approach allows Virgin Trains to strike the balance of protecting its information and brand, while continuing to leverage global interconnectivity and human creativity.”

Darktrace is one of the world’s fastest-growing cyber defence companies and the leader in Enterprise Immune System technology, a new category of cyber solutions based on the Cambridge University IP. It is backed financially by Mike Lynch’s Invoke VC fund.

Darktrace addresses the challenge of insider threat and advanced cyber-attacks through what it calls a unique ability to detect previously unidentified threats in real time, as manifested in the emerging behaviors of the network, devices and individuals. 

Some of the world’s largest organisations now rely on Darktrace’s adaptive, self-learning platform to spot anomalous activity within the enterprise – in sectors including energy and utilities, financial services, telecommunications, retail and transportation. 

Darktrace was founded by world-class machine learning specialists and operational government intelligence experts. The company is headquartered in Cambridge UK, with offices in London, Milan, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Darktrace CEO, Nicole Eagan

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