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|Founder||Stuart McClure, Ryan Permeh|
Cylance Inc. is a software firm that develops antivirus programs and other kinds of computer software that prevent, rather than reactively detect, viruses and malware. The company is based in Irvine, California. Cylance has been described as “the first company to apply artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning to cyber security.”
In February 2019, the company was acquired by BlackBerry Limited.
The company's mission is to block computer viruses or malware before they have an effect on a user's computer.
Cylance was founded by Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh. McClure was previously co-founder of Foundstone, a security consultancy. He sold Foundstone to McAfee in 2004, and became that firm's Chief Tech Officer. McClure is also the author of Hacking Exposed, reportedly the best-selling IT security book to date.
Cylance's founding came about as a result of McClure's speeches on cybersecurity. In them, he was often asked how he protected his own computer. He noted that he lacked trust in any security technology since it was all reactive in nature (for example, legacy antivirus technology), meaning it only cleaned up after an attack or prevented it a second time. Consequently, McClure began developing a technology based on "proactive protection".
Initial funding of $15 million was reported February 2013 with another $20 million in February 2014. A July 2015 report indicated that Cylance had raised an additional $42 million from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Dell, CapitalOne, and TenEleven Ventures. Cylance received another $100 million in June 2016 with lead investors Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (part of The Blackstone Group) and Insight Venture Partners.
McClure has stated that Cylance's antivirus product does not use typical security features, such as unique signatures, heuristics, behavioral analysis, sandboxing, virtualization, or blacklisting. Rather, the product uses artificial intelligence to identify and stop attackers. McClure has stated that Cylance's security features are similar to the human brain's way of identifying threats, wherein it "teaches" computers to identify indicators of an attack.
Operation Cleaver was a covert cyberwarfare operation carried out by the Iranian government against targets around the world, specifically critical infrastructure entities. Cylance uncovered the operation and described it in a report released in late 2014. Iranian officials rejected Cylance's conclusions, but the FBI tacitly confirmed them.
In May 2016, Cylance announced a new collaboration with MOTEX, an Osaka-based firm, to integrate MOTEX LanScope, an endpoint security management, and CylancePROTECT, Cylance's leading product, which proactively detects and prevents malware. The end product will be called CylancePROTECT Cat. This collaboration brings Cylance's activities into the Japanese market.
Acquisition by BlackBerry Limited
Honors and awards
In October 2017, Cylance was certified as a "Great Place to Work" on GreatPlaceToWork.com.
In October 2017, Cylance was recognized as a Cyber Security Leader of 2017 in Cyber Defense Magazine.
In September 2017, Cylance was announced a winner of the Gartner Peer Insights Customer Choice Award for Endpoint Protection Platforms by Gartner Inc.
In March 2017, CylancePROTECT was named Best Endpoint Protection Product of 2016 by SANS Community.
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