Microsoft has confirmed recent reports that it plans to acquire Israeli cybersecurity startup Hexadite.
Rumors first surfaced last month that Microsoft had snapped up Hexadite in a deal worth around $100 million, according to an article in local Israeli business publication the Calcalist, and Microsoft has now revealed that it has indeed signed an agreement to acquire the company, though it hasn’t officially disclosed terms of the deal.
Founded in 2014, Hexadite connects to existing cybersecurity detection systems to analyze threats automatically using artificial intelligence (AI), and it helps companies identify and address cyberattacks swiftly when they happen. Hexadite accepts alerts from multiple sources, such as Syslog, email, and APIs, and helps security teams prioritize and manage multiple threats. The company raised an $8 million round of funding last year from Hewlett Packard Ventures, Ten Eleven Ventures, and YL Ventures, which was in addition to $2 million in seed funding it garnered previously.
Though it was founded out of Israel, where its researchers are still based, its official headquarters is now in Boston. As a result of the deal, which is still to be finalized, Hexadite will be “fully absorbed” into Microsoft as part of its Windows and Devices Group, according to a statement.
“Our vision is to deliver a new generation of security capabilities that helps our customers protect, detect, and respond to the constantly evolving and ever-changing cyberthreat landscape,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group. “Hexadite’s technology and talent will augment our existing capabilities and enable our ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft’s robust enterprise security offerings.”
More specifically, as a result of this acquisition Microsoft will be bringing AI to its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) for Windows 10 enterprise customers, with a view toward “making response and remediation faster and more effective,” according to Microsoft. The company said that WDATP is currently used to protect around two million enterprise devices, though it didn’t translate that into client numbers.
Microsoft has a track record investing in cybersecurity companies, particularly those hailing from Israel. Back in 2015, it bought Israel’s Secure Islands, while in January Microsoft and Qualcomm invested in Israeli cybersecurity firm Team8. And in April Microsoft was reportedly lining up a bid to acquire Israeli cloud monitoring startup Cloudyn for around $60 million.