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5 February, 2020 - 13:02 By Tony Quested

Darktrace turbocharges cyber security for McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing has signed a multi-year partnership with Cambridge-based cyber security world leader Darktrace; the UK unicorn is now official AI Cyber security partner.

Darktrace’s cyber artificial intelligence will be integrated across the whole McLaren Group, particularly in protecting its Formula 1 team against cyber attacks. 

Notably, the technology will give McLaren complete visibility across its entire digital infrastructure – from IoT sensors on each F1 car to the cloud-based software that fuels operations – and identify threats as soon as they emerge.

In a time-sensitive sport with such fine margins between success and failure, this ‘live’ functionality is essential, with Darktrace’s ‘machine fights back’ innovation automatically blocking any attacks with a speed, scale and sophistication far beyond human capabilities.

Given the sensitivity of the data involved and the implications of it being compromised, from both a competitive and financial perspective, Darktrace’s work with McLaren will be essential for its continued success as one of the iconic teams in motor racing. 

Darktrace’s brand will now also appear on the rear wing of the McLaren MCL35 race car throughout the 2020 season, as well as on the race suits of team drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. Today, technology and innovation is at the heart of everything McLaren does, allowing the team to compete at their best in one of the most technologically advanced sports in the world.

McLaren Racing competes in the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, and the IndyCar Series in North America with Oliver Askew and Pato O’Ward.

Zak Brown, CEO at McLaren Racing, said: “We’re proud to welcome Darktrace for the first time into the fast-moving world of Formula 1 and to the McLaren Racing partner family. 

“Data is the lifeblood of our racing strategy and so strong cyber resilience is key to our success on the tracks. We look forward to starting our partnership together this season as Darktrace’s Cyber AI will, for the first time, allow our infrastructure to be self-defending.”

Poppy Gustafsson, CEO, Darktrace EMEA added: “We are excited to be partnering with McLaren, a company with innovation at its core. 

“Cyber-attacks that seek to cause disruption to global events, as well as attacks that subtly steal coveted IP, are on the rise. We are proud that our technology is being trusted to automatically protect the McLaren team, enabling them to race to the finish line in the knowledge that their systems are secured by world-leading Cyber AI.”

There is more good news for Darktrace with the appointment of Cathy Graham as new CFO from February 10.

Previously at 2U, a global leader in education technology, Graham has broad experience in leading hyper-growth technology companies. 

During her eight-year tenure as CFO of 2U, she led its capital structure growth – earning widespread recognition for her success by the Northern Virginia Technology Council when she was named the ‘2015 Public Company CFO of the Year’. 

Most recently, she was listed in the Washington Business Journal’s ‘Women Who Mean Business’ 2018 list; an award that recognises the most influential businesswomen who have left their mark on both their industries and communities.

With more than two decades of professional experience in financial disciplines across technology, hospitality and banking, Graham has served at the helm of several businesses through periods of fast growth. 

She has led four successful initial public offerings (IPOs), including 2U’s, has raised over $200 million in private equity funding and made numerous strategic acquisitions.

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