Microsoft said to buy Israel’s Hexadite for $100 million
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Microsoft said to buy Israel’s Hexadite for $100 million

The 3-year old cybersecurity startup uses artificial intelligence to investigate threats and acts on them

This July 3, 2014 photo shows the Microsoft Corp. logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren/File)
This July 3, 2014 photo shows the Microsoft Corp. logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren/File)

US giant Microsoft has acquired Israeli cybersecurity startup Hexadite for $100 million, three years after the company was founded, the Calcalist financial website reported Wednesday.

The company created software that uses artificial intelligence to integrate with existing security detection tools, like the firewalls and cyber alert systems of Check Point Software Technologies and Kaspersky Lab, to investigate and follow up on every alert, a time-consuming process for information security professionals and analysts.

Modeled on the logic and processes used by “top cyber analysts” and driven by artificial intelligence, Hexadite’s software “investigates every alert in seconds,” the startup’s website says. Algorithms are used to inspect every threat and act on the ones that need action, Hexadite’s website says.

This is Microsoft’s second acquisition of an Israeli company in the past month, after the US software giant bought Cloudyn, a cloud-monitoring startup based in Rosh Ha’ayin, for $70 million, Calcalist said.

Hexadite was set up in 2014 by three founders: Eran Barak, the CEO, Barak Klinghofer and Idan Levin. All three of them served in elite intelligence units of the Israeli army and worked for the defense electronics firm Elbit Systems Ltd. Investors in the company include YL Ventures, Ten Eleven Ventures and Hewlett Packard Ventures, according to the Hexadite website.

The company sells its software to customers including Telit and Nuance Communications, according to its website, as well as to financial and industrial firms, Calcalist said. The company, which has raised $10.5 million to date, employs 35 people, Calcalist said. The firm is headquartered in Boston and has an R&D center in Tel Aviv.

An email sent to Hexadite seeking confirmation was not immediately replied.

As the world moves toward greater digitalization, it becomes more vulnerable to cyberattacks, as shown earlier this month when a worldwide extortionate cyberattack wreaked havoc on 10,000 organizations and 200,000 computers in over 150 countries. As companies scramble for solutions they are turning to Israel, which holds a leading position as a global center of cybersecurity innovation and skills. Some 65 new cyber startups were set up in Israel in 2016, according to a report by the nonprofit Start-Up Nation Central.

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