Darktrace is a privately held cybersecurity company with dual headquarters in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco, California, USA. The company was founded in 2013 by a group of mathematicians from the University of Cambridge that teamed up with cybersecurity professionals with an intelligence agency background on a vision of an autonomous AI-powered platform for detecting and mitigating cyber-threats across diverse digital environments. Six years later, Darktrace has achieved an impressive global market presence with over 900 employees across 44 offices around the world, serving over 2500 customers. In 2018, the company’s market valuation has surpassed $1.6 billion.
It is well known that Artificial Intelligence has become the hottest buzzword in cybersecurity, and not without a reason. As companies go through the digital transformation, they are facing numerous new challenges: exponential growth and complexity of their IT infrastructures, massive amounts of sensitive data spread across multiple clouds, increasingly harsh compliance regulations and, last but not least, the growing skills gap in the IT industry. Even large companies with strong security teams simply cannot keep up with the latest cyber-attacks and other security risks.
Although the very notion of AI is not really that new (neural networks were invented back in the 1950s), it is the recent surge in affordable computing power thanks to specialized hardware and cloud services that made the technology available to everyone. Finally, instead of struggling with huge numbers of complicated rules, programs can be made to learn through training, by feeding machine learning models with massive amounts of data, which digital businesses in every industry have in abundance.
Unsurprisingly, the software markets react to these great expectations that businesses place in AI technologies with massive growth: thousands of start-ups are building their value propositions around using AI/ML to solve a business problem or address a need of a specific market vertical. Cybersecurity is one of those verticals: after all, most companies are already sitting on large amounts of security data that their IT infrastructures are generating as log files, network packets or even records of user behavior.
Unfortunately, not all “AI-powered” security solutions are created equal. A vast majority still largely focuses on finding pre-defined or known malicious activities in those security data. Others concentrate on various aspects of forensic research and threat intelligence. And although these products provide an impressive increase of security expert’s productivity, they are still far from meeting the expectations of business users that an AI can replace a human expert, thus closing the dreaded skills gap.
What sets Darktrace apart from such vendors is that instead of selling cybersecurity tools, the company promises to provide a turn-key cyber-defense solution – a product that, like human immune system, is capable of identifying previously unknown threats across the entire business and, again like the antibodies of the immune system, prevent those threats from turning into data breaches without the need of human interaction.
Somewhat reminiscent of the famed Apple’s approach towards their business, Darktrace isn’t here to sell you a set of tools to be configured, but peace of mind thanks to a solution that “just works”. Is it worth the impressive price tag that comes with it? Read our report and decide for yourself.