Darktrace and Microsoft team up on AI cybersecurity

11 May 2021

Image: © gargantiopa/Stock.adobe.com

The two sides will collaborate on new ways to shield companies from incoming threats like ransomware that are becoming more sophisticated.

Fresh off its recent IPO, cybersecurity firm Darktrace has signed a new partnership with Microsoft.

The deal will see the Cambridge-based company and the tech giant collaborate in various ways on automatically detecting threats, especially those coming through malicious emails.

Darktrace, founded in 2013, has been one of the companies at the forefront of developing artificial intelligence in cybersecurity that detects and responds to suspicious activity and threats.

Through their partnership, Darktrace and Microsoft will develop new ways to detect and protect against increasingly sophisticated attacks – such as ransomware, which buckled a major US gas pipeline last week.

“As cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated, AI is adding a deeper level of protection in detecting these threats,” Clare Barclay, chief executive of Microsoft UK, said. “The partnership between Microsoft and Darktrace will help keep organisations secure, enabling them to focus on their core business and customers.”

The two companies will collaborate on three key areas: email security, streamlined security workflows and seamless data integration. This will be achieved through tighter integrations between Darktrace’s tech and Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Darktrace’s AI email solution, called Antigena Email, is hosted on Microsoft Azure and is used to protect workplaces’ inboxes from a range of threats.

There will be further integrations between Darktrace technology and Azure Sentinel, a security information and event manager (SIEM) platform, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for threat detection alerts.

Dan Fein, director of email security products at Darktrace, said email threats are becoming more and more complex and difficult to combat.

“As these attacks get more sophisticated, employee education and awareness are not enough. The answer lies in technology,” Fein said.

“With a dynamic understanding of the business, cyber AI detects subtle indicators of attack and stops novel threats on the first encounter. This capability is crucial in an era where it is impossible to predict where the next attack will come from or what it will look like.”

Darktrace made its stock market debut two weeks ago with an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange. The listing proved relatively successful with shares bumping around 40pc on the first day of trading.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin