Darktrace scores huge sales coup as BT buys anomaly-detection system

Telecoms giant will use and re-sell UK startup's technology for spotting threats

Cambridge security startup Darktrace has scored a major deal that will see BT both using and reselling the firm's Enterprise Immune System anomaly detection technology within its portfolio.

The size of the deal was not revealed but the tie-up looks like a breakthrough for Darktrace, founded in 2013 after a personal investment by entrepreneur Mike Lynch of Autonomy fame.

Darktrace will be sold as a standalone product as well as part of BT's larger suite of Assure services. The fact that BT will also use the system to defend itself is a publicity coup and route one for a firm still seen as in its startup phase.

"The addition to our Assure portfolio will strengthen our ability to defend BT and our customers against advanced cyber threats," said BT Security president, Mark Hughes.

"Their machine learning and mathematics are extremely powerful in detecting activity that is abnormal and will be critical to our future cyber security offerings."

Darktrace has attracted attention on two fronts; it is a UK security startup - the country remains underwieght in successful startups in this sector - and of course the investment by Invoke Capital, Lynch's funding vehicle. Both firms have Cambridge roots.

Last month Darktrace announced a separate tie-up with pen-testing outfit CNS Group that will see the latter wrap its services around the startup's anomaly detection technology.

In September 2014, former GCHQ insider Andrew France stepped down as Darktrace CEO, his role taken over by Nicole Eagan, formerly of Invoke Capital.

In November, Darktrace won Techworld's Enterprise Startup of the Year award and was later named as one of only eleven UK security firms on a list of the best-known 500 global companies in the security industry.

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