empow is another cybersecurity startup coming out of this familiar space. However, while their background may share a few characteristics with the companies mentioned above (i.e., an Israeli-based cybersecurity startup whose international headquarters are in Tel Aviv), it’s empow’s security capability that helps set it apart from the crowd.
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Their platform uses machine learning to analyze a company’s cybersecurity infrastructure and creates a database of what they call “classifiers.” What these can be are any alerts that can be seen or thought of as a threat to the company as a whole.
“We’re able to use machine learning (AI) to intake thousands or millions, of these alerts a day and makes sense of them, so an analyst won’t have to do it themselves,” said empow CEO Peter George, describing just one part of the process. “From there, we can ingest the entire security network and infrastructure, but we also triage that with third-party threat intelligence in order to validate the threat, so they can be fully classified.”
A company can use the empow platform to predict an upcoming attack by using a classifier and a ‘cause-and-effect’ algorithm that is created by taking in data from a company. By using this data, a company can quickly find when and where the next attack is coming, based on patterns created by the algorithm and from previous, similar cyber threats.
The ultimate goal of the company is for their clients to not have to add yet another cybersecurity platform, but instead coordinates the capabilities of the security they already have and rapidly responds to the threat before any damage is done. Companies will employ an analyst or many analysts to find and describe what these threats are and how to respond to them and empow is able to accomplish this automatically.
“It’s been said that on average Fortune 500 companies have 50 or 60 different cybersecurity products spread around their network. Now, with the advent of people moving to the cloud, they have to double down on those security products because they are moving sensitive data to the cloud. It’s unwieldy and complex,” George said. “With empow, you’re going to be able to use the software that you already have. So, when you do have to prevent an attack, you can still use the existing security tools you already have put in place."
The “A-ha!” moment behind empow
The overall mission of the company stems from the founder’s previous life at Radware.
empow Co-Founder and CTO Avi Chesla was the CTO at Radware, which is a premier international cybersecurity company, especially when it comes to protecting large data centers. During his time at that company, Chesla began taking note of an ongoing problem with enterprise companies. He noticed that companies were stacking security software on top of other security software, resulting in a business strategy that was more focused on buying the “hot new thing” as opposed to filling out and building on what they already had.
Chesla started to think about taking a different approach. He thought, ‘Instead of buying something else, why not use machine learning and artificial intelligence to change the game on the adversary?’ The CTO came up with an idea for an extraction layer that would optimize the power behind a company’s already-in-place security configurations. He then took it a step further and wanted this new platform to work within a company without the aid of a security analyst.
In 2014, he left Radware to put this idea to the test, and formed empow the same year. Within a short period of time, the company started to become successful in its respective field and began to expand overseas to Boston.
It was in 2017 when George came into the picture, and started to become more acquainted with empow.
George is a 20-year veteran in the cybersecurity space, most notably being the CEO of Crossbeam Systems and then CEO of Fidelis Cybersecurity. Fidelis was sold to General Dynamics in 2012 and then George led the spin-out from GD to a Private Equity company.
After meeting Chesla in November 2017, George became immediately interested in what the Tel Aviv-based company was up to. He then joined as CEO a few months later in April 2018 as he sensed an opportunity to completely disrupt the $6B SIEM established market.
empow in the Boston cybersecurity cluster
The company has been active for a little over three years, but have just produced their first market product. Currently, empow covers a wide array of companies who have their own cybersecurity infrastructure but needs automation to get ahead of the threat.
empow is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding cybersecurity cluster in the Boston tech scene and George is confident the company is going to not only make an impact, but also fit in with the rest of the big names.
“We’re revolutionizing a category of security with our technology, but we are still operating well below the radar of the market even though that is all about to change. We’re only just getting started,” George said. “That being said, we are thrilled to be in Boston, the least of which is the burgeoning sector of Israeli-based cybersecurity companies. There is a strong contingent of companies that are passionate about what they are doing and focused on helping customer protect their most sensitive data from the bad guys around the world.”
Images courtesy of empow