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Oxford cybersecurity startup Traced uses AI to stop mobile threats

By Dan Teuton
2 September 2020

In the past few years computer viruses have changed from being a serious irritant for businesses to a potentially existential threat. To understand why, just look at the news from the first week of August this year. 

On August 6, multinational foreign exchange Travelex collapsed into administration, citing a crippling New Year’s Eve cyberattack that left it reeling and unable to weather the pandemic.

Just two days before, Redcar Council revealed that recovering from a cyberattack in February left it using pen and paper for three weeks and would cost £10 million. On the same day it was widely reported that Garmin paid a $10m ransom to end a crippling cyberattack.

Sadly, attacks like these are commonplace, and the amounts of money involved are unexceptional. What investigations into incidents like these reveal time and time again is that attackers only need to find one poorly protected computer to access an entire company network.

That’s why an Oxford-based startup, Traced, is racing to deliver a solution that protects a serious, unattended blindspot: mobile devices.

Almost all businesses have virus protection on their desktop and laptop computers but most, a shocking 61%, have no protection at all on employees’ phones and tablets.

We increasingly use our phones to do work that used to be done on laptops and desktop computers. According to the cybersecurity veterans (ex McAfee, Sophos, Ministry of Defence) behind Traced, poorly or unsecured mobile devices are now being seen by attackers in the same way they see poorly secured computers – as gateways into entire organisations.

The Traced app uses deep learning (a form of artificial intelligence) to detect and neutralise suspicious activity on mobile devices, so they can’t be used as a foothold for stealing data or breaking into a company network.

Download the free Traced app for Android on the Google Play Store. There is also an iOS app and management console for businesses to secure employees’ personal and company-owned phones currently in beta.


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