Microsoft has acquired Israeli cybersecurity startup Hexadite in a deal rumoured to be worth around $100 million, according to multiple reports today. Earlier this year, a senior executive said the company would invest up to $1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.
Hexadite was founded by CEO Eran Barak and CTO Idan Levin in 2014. The firm is headquartered in Boston and has an R&D center in Tel Aviv. According to the company website, “it uses artificial intelligence to investigate and remediate every alert, resolving incidents in seconds and freeing up your analysts to focus on the threats that truly demand their expertise.”
The Hexadite Automated Incident Response Solution (AIRS) already protects more than 500,000 devices in the financial services, retail, technology, insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, life sciences, and healthcare industries.
The company raised a $8 million series A round of funding last year from Hewlett Packard Ventures and others. It had also previously raised a $2.5 million round in 2014.
Microsoft has acquired, or invested in, a number of cybersecurity company over the past few years. They bought Secure Island back in 2015 and invested in cybersecurity firm Team8 in January of this year. Hexadite isn’t even the only Israeli cybersecurity company it has bought this month. They also purchased Cloudyn, a cloud-monitoring startup based in Rosh Ha’ayin, for $70 million.
Enterprise and government spending on cybersecurity products is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cumulative global spending on cybersecurity products and services will exceed $1 trillion over the next five years. Furthermore, the firm predicts $6 trillion in cybercrime damages annually by 2021.
Earlier this month, the WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 200,000 organisations in 150 countries. Consulting firm Janco Associates said the attack was “a wake up call for every C-Level executive.” The ransomware used a flaw in Microsoft Windows’ operating system, previously flagged by the National Security Agency, to spread rapidly across networks encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the form of Bitcoin. A number of high-profile organizations were targeted in the attack, including Renault, FedEx, Bank of China, Telefonica and Deutsche Bahn.
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