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Palo Alto Networks has taken over startup Zingbox for 75 million dollars (about 68 million euros). The startup, created at Stanford University, uses machine learning to detect hack attempts.

With this acquisition, Palo Alto Networks is further entering the market for Internet of Things (IoT) security. For example, the company will own a suite of tools called IoT Guardian, writes Silicon Angle. This allows companies to set up multiple layers of security for their connected devices.

The suite is built around a threat detection engine. That engine uses machine learning to detect suspicious activity. It learns how a company’s systems behave and sounds an alarm when an endpoint displays unusual activity patterns. These patterns can be the result of a hack.

Additional tools

The other tools in the suite complement that engine. For example, IoT Guardian includes a tool called Vigil that notifies a company when other Zingbox customers with similar devices are targeted by hackers.

In addition, there is a micro-segmentation tool, which allows administrators to limit the communication between systems. This can help to limit the damage if a hacker is able to penetrate the network.

Zingbox itself claims that with its tools and services it protects over 11 million devices. It does this for organisations in sectors such as health care and manufacturing. After the takeover by Palo Alto Networks, these customers go to the new parent company.

Plans Palo Alto Networks

However, it seems that Palo Alto Networks is particularly interested in the technology of his new purchase. The company therefore plans to integrate IoT Guardian with its Next-Generation Firewall and Cortex threat detection service.

However, the tools of Zingbox also remain available as stand-alone products. The acquisition is expected to be completed later this quarter.

Earlier this year, Palo Alto Networks also took over another security company, Demisto. Demisto uses chatbots and machine learning to help cybersecurity teams work more efficiently. It is also possible to combine the monitoring of systems in one orderly location.