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AWS Acquires Security Firm Founded by NSA Vets

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has snapped up a security software firm with close ties to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Cambridge, Mass.-based Sqrrl Data announced its acquisition by AWS in a note posted on its Web site this week.

"We're thrilled to share that Sqrrl has been acquired by Amazon. We will be joining the Amazon Web Services family, and we're looking forward to working together on customer offerings for the future," said Sqrrl CEO Mark Terenzoni in the note.

Sqrrl was spun out from a database project developed by the NSA in 2008 called Accumulo, which has since been open sourced under the Apache Foundation. In 2012, several of the project's original contributors from the NSA founded Sqrrl, whose flagship "Threat Hunting Platform" is built on the original Accumulo technology.

Sqrrl's offering "unites link analysis, machine learning algorithms, and multi-petabyte scalability capabilities into an integrated solution," according to the company.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though industry watchers have estimated it to be worth over $40 million.

With its NSA ties, Sqrrl gives AWS a boost as it ramps up its government-centric cloud offerings. AWS plans to open its second GovCloud region sometime this year, locating it in the East Coast. AWS also recently opened a "Secret Region" in November for members of the U.S. intelligence community and its partners in the government.

The acquisition of Sqrrl's machine learning-enabled security technology also provides a potential complement to GuardDuty, AWS' own cloud security monitoring solution that leverages machine learning. AWS took the wraps off GuardDuty at the 2017 re:Invent conference this past November.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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