Attack Surface Management , Security Operations , Video

Darktrace's Nicole Eagan on How AI Predicts, Prevents Hacks

Chief Strategy Officer Shares How the Cybersprint Buy Extended AI to Attack Surface
Nicole Eagan, chief strategy and AI officer, Darktrace

Security perimeters, remote working and complex hybrid IT environments are expanding - making attack surface management top of mind at many organizations. Darktrace recognizes that demand, and through its purchase of Cybersprint in early 2022, the cybersecurity artificial intelligence vendor is moving from focusing solely on internal threats to also defending the external attack surface.

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The company historically just applied AI to detection, using it to analyze existing data features and augment human teams with machine-speed response, says Chief Strategy and AI Officer Nicole Eagan. But with Cybersprint, she says, the AI is looking into incidents that haven't happened yet, forcing it to simulate how an attacker would behave based on an outside-in view of the victim (see: Black Hat: Incident Recovery, Threat Hunts & Blockchain Woes).

"Everyone's been firefighting in cyberspace, and it's been very reactionary," Eagan says. "You get attacked, and you try to spot it and stop it as fast as you can. We really felt that this whole industry is shifting quite radically to being more about true cyber risk management. What if we could actually use AI to predict and prevent attacks? Cybersprint is a big part of that for Darktrace."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Eagan also discusses:

  • How clients benefit from applying AI to external attack surface management;
  • What customers are saying about Darktrace's new prevention offering;
  • What spurning Thoma Bravo and remaining public means for the company.

Eagan identifies and shapes Darktrace's strategic plan, leads the company's AI vision together with Darktrace's CTO, and provides product strategy and direction. She served as Darktrace's sole CEO from September 2014 to October 2016 and co-CEO with current leader Poppy Gustafsson from October 2016 to May 2020. Eagan's extensive career spans 30 years working for Oracle and early- to late-stage growth companies. Prior to Darktrace, she was chief marketing officer at HP Autonomy from 2005 to 2012. Before that, she spent seven months as senior vice president of marketing at Quest Software, two years as CMO of Peregrine Systems and five years as Oracle's senior director of strategic marketing.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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