Darktrace Deal To Bring AI Security to Microsoft Products

In a partnership announced Monday, Microsoft and security solutions firm Darktrace plan to integrate the latter's artificial intelligence (AI) products with Microsoft Azure, Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Darktrace was "founded in 2013 by mathematicians and cyber experts from government intelligence backgrounds," according to a company overview. It makes security solutions that "learn" on their own about what's a threat, identifying even novel ones, based on AI algorithms. The company claims to be the first to have applied AI to software security.

The partnership with Microsoft is primarily about technology integration. Darktrace's e-mail security solutions will be hosted on Microsoft Azure datacenters, and its technology will be integrated with Azure Sentinel, Microsoft's security information and event management solution. The partnership will also enable Darktrace's AI to connect with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft's service for protecting endpoint devices plus conducting post-breach analyses.

Under the partnership, Microsoft is hosting Darktrace's Antigena Email service on Azure. Additionally, Antigena Email is being offered through the Azure Marketplace online store.

Darktrace claims that its e-mail service uses AI to "learn" the individual behaviors of e-mail users and block threats. Antigena Email analyzes attachments and links in e-mails. It also spots domain spoofing, a technique used to disguise malicious links in e-mails. Microsoft 365 connector technology is used by Antigena Email to identify "anomalous logins and account behavior," as well.

Microsoft's and Darktrace's solutions are being provided to "joint customer environments," according to Poppy Gustafsson, Darktrace's CEO, in a released statement. "Everywhere Microsoft runs, Darktrace secures," she added.

Darktrace described its self-learning AI security solution as using so-called "Enterprise Immune System" technology. It's said to be modeled after the human immune system's ability to recognize pathogens and produce antibodies against future attacks. Antigena Email was able to react "in seconds" during the worldwide spread of the infamous WannaCry malware of 2017, the company contends.

In addition to its Microsoft partnership, Darktrace works with Okta, Slack and Zoom. Its products integrate with various firewall and security management solutions, as well.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.