In-Q-Tel is investing in this DC cybersecurity startup to help companies manage threat alerts - Technical.ly DC

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In-Q-Tel is investing in this DC cybersecurity startup to help companies manage threat alerts

The partnership will help GreyNoise get additional feedback from the U.S. intelligence community, which CEO Andrew Morris said can help build the product out for the masses.

GreyNoise Intelligence CEO Andrew Morris.

(Courtesy photo)

Cybersecurity company GreyNoise Intelligence announced a seven-figure investment partnership Tuesday with In-Q-Tel, the strategic intelligence investor supported by the CIA.

Andrew Morris, founder and CEO of the D.C. company, said it helps make security operation centers more efficient by telling teams which alerts that they’re investigating and responding to, as well as triaging those that don’t matter or are “background noise.” This lets security teams focus on threats that are more concerning. The company does this by collecting packets from IPs through its sensor network, while also monitoring common internet business services. Morris estimates that about 20-30% of alerts teams receive are irrelevant or non-threatening. Of the three million IP addresses GreyNoise scanned over the past 90 days, only 10,000 were identified as malicious.

Morris said that the partnership with Arlington, Virginia-based In-Q-Tel will help GreyNoise meet its product goals faster, given the additional information from the firm. He added that many of the improvements GreyNoise will be making for In-Q-Tel will be available for users beyond the intelligence community.

“With the intelligence community, it’s a lot harder because a lot of what they do is super secret and it’s all very classified and so you can’t really get that feedback,” Morris said. “So this relationship with In-Q-Tel is something that helps us get feedback for how we are going to build a more delightful product for our intelligence community customers.”

The three-year-old startup has seen strong growth over the past year, extending to over 11,000 accounts and over 1,000 daily users on the free version of its service. Morris said that the company has roughly 75 enterprise customers and is on track to add a few hundred users weekly. In 2020, the company also announced a $4.8 million raise in seed funding led by Charles River Ventures with participation from Paladin Capital Group, among other investors.

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The growth is expected to continue following the partnership. Morris said the staff at GreyNoise grew from five to 24 over the past year and he anticipates adding another 15 or 20 before the end of the year, although he clarified that the employee growth is not necessarily related to the partnership.

“We don’t really have any competitors right now and we’re kind of the first to market in what we’re doing, so our number one focus is to get to as many free users and enterprise customers as humanly possible to dominate the market as fast as we possibly can,” Morris said.

Following the partnership, Morris said GreyNoise will be releasing additional open source tools later this year, and the features and updates from the In-Q-Tel partnership will be available in the next six to nine months.

“The security industry is growing up in a really big way and we’re realizing that data is actually a really, really big part of how to make smart security decisions,” Morris said. “So, I think, honestly, there’s going to be a renewed interest in securing data in ways that are giving security teams the ability to make better decisions more quickly.”

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