Start-up offers up endpoint detection and response for behavior-based malware detection

SentinelOne wants to compete with full endpoint defense suites.

Start-up SentinelOne is offering security software for behavior-based malware detection intended to augment, not replace, the type of full anti-virus endpoint protection suites that typically also have signature-based defense, a firewall and other features.

However, the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up, which has research and development roots in Israel and has received $14.5 million in venture-capital funding, does harbor ambitions to break into the multi-billion dollar anti-virus market to compete with the kind of full-featured endpoint protection suites offered today by the major vendors such as Symantec and McAfee.

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Tomer Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of SentinelOne, says the goal is to have ready by year end the kind of full-featured anti-virus protection suites that McAfee, Symantec and other major anti-malware vendors typically offer. But currently, SentinelOne's first product, called SentinelOne EDR (for endpoint detection and response) relies on behavior-based analysis of malware with its so-called "predictive threat execution inspection engine" to block attacks.

"This endpoint protection stops attacks as they're happening with full forensics reports," says Weingarten, who co-founded the start-up last year with its chief technology officer, Almog Cohen (the earlier name for the start-up was Sentinel Labs). The first product, SentinelOne EDR, is available now for Windows-based and Mac OS X machines, including servers, with versions for iOS and Android devices now in beta.

The software's defensive approach is to analyze every application process in real time to detect attack patterns and block them. Weingarten says the closest competitors are FireEye, which acquired Mandiant, and Cyvera, which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks. The focus is on detecting stealthy attacks, often called "advanced persistent threats."

SentinelOne EDR is getting plaudits from Yahoo chief information security officer, Alex Stamos. "I believe Sentinel represents the future of APT detection," said Stamos who has evaluated it.

The $14.5 million in venture-capital funding for SentinelOne was provided by firms that include Tiger Global, Accel partners, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners and the Westly Group.

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