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Threat Detection Startup Sqrrl Raises $7 Million to Commercialize NSA-Born Technology

Sqrrl, a Cambridge, Mass.-based big data analytics startup, announced that it has secured $7 million in a Series B founding round.

The Series B funding was led by Rally Ventures and with participation by existing investors, Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners.

The company is commercializing NSA technology to help organizations improve cyber incident detection and response, Ely Kahn, VP Business Development at Sqrrl, told SecurityWeek.

Sqrrl Logo

In addition to announcing its latest funding round, the company announced the launch of Sqrrl Enterprise 2.0, an offering that unifies an organization’s security, network, endpoint, and user data into a single platform.

At the core of Sqrrl Enterprise is Accumulo, a database project that began at the NSA in 2008 when the spy agency was searching for a platform that could meet its growing data challenges. In 2011, NSA open sourced Accumulo, which has since become a project at the Apache Foundation. Accumulo was inspired by Google's BigTable design and is built on top of Apache Hadoop, Zookeeper, and Thrift.

In the summer of 2012, a group of the core creators, committers, and contributors to the Accumulo project co-founded Sqrrl.

Sqrrl’s software analyzes masses of data in order to uncover hidden patterns, trends, and links, and enables security analysts to visually navigate the relationships between assets and actors involved in a given event. As a result, security teams can detect and mitigate data breaches resulting from cyber-espionage, insider threats, and other types of hard-to-detect attacks.

Additionally, by uniting and storing various cyber datasets over extended time periods, Sqrrl Enterprise can enable deep forensic investigations into attacks.

Sqrrl’s software is already deployed at a variety of Fortune 500 companies and large government agencies, the company said.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.