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Deep Instinct Applies Deep Learning To Cybersecurity – Zero-Day Attack Protection For Endpoints And Mobile

Founded in 2014 and out of stealth mode since November 2015, Deep Instinct is the first company to apply deep learning to cybersecurity. With offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and in North America, it now has 65 employees. Below is our interview with Guy Caspi, CEO of Deep Instinct:


Q: Deep Instinct is one of the first companies to apply deep learning to cybersecurity; Could you tell us something more about the company and your core competence?

A: Deep Instinct’s core technology is deep learning, also known as neural networks, which is an advanced branch of artificial intelligence. Deep learning is inspired by the brain’s ability to learn: once a brain learns to identify an object, its identification becomes second nature. Similarly, as Deep Instinct’s artificial brain learns to detect any type of cyber threat, its prediction capabilities become instinctive. Deep learning has exhibited groundbreaking results when applied to computer vision, speech, and text understanding.

In cybersecurity, not only is there a great need for a new solution that can protect against brand new (zero-day) threats in real-time – a critical issue that causes great vulnerabilities to almost every business, but there is also massive data that can benefit from and be implemented on neural networks.

However, deep learning is complex and its application has a very high barrier entry because the neural networks comprise of tens of hundreds of layers and the mathematics required to create such layers are extremely difficult. Even once this hurdle is passed, these neural networks are hard to implement on GPUs (Graphic User Interface) that can run such algorithms. Moreover, creating a deep learning-based technology that can run as an on-device client requires great expertise. All these things are not easy to come by. The few companies that have these capabilities have mostly been acquired by giants, such as Google, Facebook and Salesforce. Furthermore, Deep Instinct does not use open source deep learning libraries but has created our own from scratch.

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Q: You’ve been awarded the Most Innovative Startup award at the Black Hat IT cyber security conference in Las Vegas; tell us something more?

A: Deep Instinct has been recognized by Dark Reading at Black Hat USA as the most innovative startup that has been in the industry for three years or less and is exhibiting groundbreaking ideas on IT security that have the potential to change the way enterprises approach security issues and how the industry thinks about information security. This is the inaugural year for the awards, and we are honored by this prestigious recognition. Behind it lies our relentless drive for innovation, applying for the first time deep learning to cybersecurity and empowering enterprises’ cybersecurity capabilities with instinctive, real-time protection from the next unexpected attack.

In addition, we received an exceptional amount of recognition in the industry, having won a range of awards, the title of a Gartner Cool Vendor and being mentioned in a range of analyst reports. We believe that our unique technology – being the only company that offers a truly agnostic solution that covers mobile, endpoints and network, as well as successful implementation with clients and impressive results in independent testing – merits the attention we are receiving from the industry.

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Q: What advantage does Deep Instinct have over its competitors?

A: Deep Instinct offers a unique solution of prevention that is pre-execution. While many of the new solutions on the market can offer detection and prevention only once the business has been infected, we can detect and prevent before any harm can occur. By way of analogy, if a business were a person and the malicious attack were poisoning from poison ivy, other cybersecurity vendors need the person to first touch it and then will cut the person’s arm to stop the poison from spreading throughout the body. We can tell the person not to touch the poison ivy in the first place because we immediately identified it.

Second, our detection rates are substantially higher that existing solutions on the market, enabled by the application of deep learning. Third, Deep Instinct focuses on unknown and APT attacks whether they are in a file, file-less manner or even already existing in the system. Instead of waiting for the next unexpected attack, the next unknown attack is identified and blocked in real-time before any harm can occur. Finally, deep learning’s capabilities of identifying malware from any data source results in comprehensive protection on any device, platform, and operating system, filling in gaps of niche solutions.

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Q: What are your plans for next 12 months?

A: Our focus will be on growing our footprint in the market, reaching new customers in North America and across the globe in robust markets, and continuing with our awareness efforts. We are also planning on expanding our product by adding new defense vectors in addition to our existing solutions: endpoints, servers and mobile. We are witnessing transformations in the cybersecurity world and the network architecture, and we plan on meeting the security needs that arise from these changes. Last, but not least, we will focus on raising awareness about the growing cyber risks that lie in the mobile market, emphasizing how this new threat vector must be protected. The cybersecurity market is one of constant innovations. It is the hottest market and therein lies its beauty. We need to constantly rethink and renew solutions and we believe that Deep Instinct is blazing the trail.

Q: What’s the best thing about Deep Instinct that people might not know about?

A: Our human factor: we have a winning combination of people who have the academic knowledge and credentials with unique experience in cybersecurity gained in years in the intelligence and elite units that focused on cyber- attacks. We think like hackers and can appreciate all angles or vulnerabilities in order to offer effective protection. In addition, Deep Instinct’s dedicated deep learning research group is headed by Dr. Eli David, one of the leading researchers in the field of computational intelligence. Moreover, the company is headed by a highly experienced management team that knows how to leverage the cybersecurity and academic backgrounds to carry out a successful product that provides a solution to a critical need in the industry.

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