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29 June, 2018 - 10:20 By Tony Quested

US seeks security through UK cyber defence warrior

One of Cambridge’s greatest ever success stories in the US is turning out to be the rise and rise of cyber defence specialist Darktrace.

Cambridge’s newest unicorn with a market cap of $1.3 billion, Darktrace has coast-to-coast representation in the States with major operations in San Francisco – its US HQ – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Dallas.

Its technology, which detects and repels cyber attacks perpetrated from inside and outside enterprises, is used on a mass scale by global companies, government organisations and sectors such as education. One of its newest clients in America is a farsighted school authority. 

Monadnock Regional School District (MRSD) in New Hampshire has chosen Darktrace’s AI technology to protect its networks. Defending the personal data of over 1,800 students against stealthy attacks and subtle insider threats, MRSD’s security team wanted to protect its network from the inside out.

The school district joins a growing number of educational organisations choosing Darktrace AI to proactively detect and respond to unpredictable threats, including Universidad de Las Americas Pueblas, International Baccalaureate, and United World College of South East Asia.

Neal Richardson, director of technology and emergency management at MRSD, said: “Darktrace has been a fantastic addition to our security stack. The Enterprise Immune System enables us to see threats as they emerge in real time and to autonomously respond to incidents more quickly than ever before. It keeps my security team focused on the threats that are most important, improving our overall resilience.”

Darktrace’s growing status in the US was recognised recently by New Jersey-based media moguls at CNBC. The company was named as one of CNBC’s Disruptor 50, a list of the most ambitious and innovative companies representing breakthrough ideas from all over the world.

Modelled on the human immune system, Darktrace’s technology is the broadest deployed enterprise AI with over 5,000 installations. 

Starting with protecting corporate networks, Darktrace has broadened its offerings to now include cloud, industrial networks and autonomous response. This has further driven the company’s footprint in the market and revenue growth.

CEO Nicole Eagan said: “AI cyberattacks will be almost impossible for humans to stop. As the battlefield shifts to corporate networks, cloud, and critical infrastructure, Darktrace is playing an instrumental role in detecting and stopping even the stealthiest attacks. Our inclusion in the CNBC Disruptor 50 list is both rewarding and humbling.”

The CNBC Disruptor 50 features companies that are questioning traditional approaches and leveraging new methods to disrupt billion-dollar markets. The CNBC Disruptor 50 was selected by CNBC and editorial staff using a proprietary blend of quantitative and qualitative information submitted by the 981 nominated companies. 

Disruptor 50 data partners PitchBook and IBISWorld provided additional quantitative input. CNBC’s Disruptor 50 Advisory Council, a group of 52 leading thinkers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, weighted the quantitative criteria and provided additional analysis of qualitative information.

Also in North America, NovAtel, part of global technology group Hexagon AB, has selected the Enterprise Immune System to defend its network. NovAtel’s concerns about state-sponsored cyber criminal activity and insider threat led it to deploy Darktrace AI for proactive cyber defence of its valuable intellectual property.

NovAtel’s high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNNS) technology is utilised across industries for autonomous vehicles, precision agriculture, defense, and emergency dispatch systems. The organisation joins a long list of innovative technology companies, including Inphi, Raspberry Pi and MACOM, that rely on Darktrace to secure their IP.

Robert Ashe, director of information services at NovAtel, said: “Deploying Darktrace was a real eye-opener. We can now confidently pinpoint any malware or misconfigurations on our networks, and effectively respond before any damage is done. 

“Darktrace even detects incoming suspicious activity from other divisions within the Hexagon AB group. The Enterprise Immune System is extremely powerful, and we can’t imagine running our cyber security without it.”

Dual-headquartered in San Francisco and Cambridge UK, Darktrace now has over 30 offices worldwide.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan

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