Darktrace, a UK cybersecurity start-up that uses machine learning to detect threats, announced Wednesday that it had raised $65 million to continue with its plans for global expansion. The company’s software helps IT leaders see emerging threats on computer networks in real time.
The company was founded in 2013, and has grown rapidly. At last count, Darktrace boasted 300 employees and more than 1,000 deployments of its Enterprise Immune System technology. What’s more interesting, perhaps, is how it works.
According to a press release announcing the funding round, Darktrace described what it does as: “Using advanced mathematics and machine learning techniques based on the biological principles of the human immune system.”
There are four key products that make up the Darktrace portfolio. Darktrace, itself, is the company’s basic cyber threat defense solution, and the focus of its latest round. The core technology of the Darktrace product was developed by specialists from the University of Cambridge, and is based on machine learning and a new branch of Bayesian probability theory. According to the company’s website, it “is capable of detecting anomalous behaviors within large and complex environments, without any prior knowledge of what it is looking for.”
Darktrace also offers its Darktrace Threat Visualizer, which provides analysts and CXOs with a high-level, global view of their enterprise. Darktrace Antigena complements the core Darktrace product by automatically defends against potential threats that have been detected, acting as digital “antibodies.” Finally, the Industrial Immune System is a version of Darktrace designed for Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
The key value provided by Darktrace is the fact that it relies on unsupervised machine learning, and it is able to detect threats on its own without much human interaction. There are no rules or signatures needed to get the software up and running, which could make it a good option for firms that do not have the budget to hire a large team of machine learning experts, but want to utilize the technology.
Darktrace’s latest funding round was led by investment firm KKR, with Summit Partners, TenEleven Ventures, and SB ISAT Fund also participating. The company was initially funded by Invoke Capital in 2013.