Founders in Focus: Uri May of Hunters

For this month’s Founders in Focus series, we’re hearing from Uri May of Hunters. Read on to learn more about the mission behind this Okta Ventures portfolio company and how they work with Okta.

What is Hunters and what is your mission?

Hunters is an Israeli cyber security startup. We built the industry’s first autonomous threat hunting solution to solve the biggest cyber security challenges organizations face today—breach detection and response efficacy, as well as under-the-radar attacks.

It’s an asymmetric warfare. While organizations are collecting petabytes of telemetry about activity in their network, cyber attackers are leveraging that to blend in the crowd and remain hidden.

What were you doing prior to Hunters that led you to this moment?

I started my cyber security journey with the Israeli Intelligence Corps, where I witnessed the cyber dimension evolve, up close and personal. It was rapidly forming into what it is today: a chaotic and unpredictable realm, dominated by criminals.

Right before founding Hunters I took an interesting detour into high frequency trading (HFT), where an ultra competitive market meets bleeding edge technology and finance. My journey into the rabbit hole of the global financial market was five years long and gave me a unique perspective. I personally see a lot of resemblance between cyber security and HFT, but that’s a topic of another blog post!

Prior to formally starting Hunters, my co-founder Tomer Kazaz and I met with a lot of different SOC teams. They had many cool, agile security technologies, but still couldn’t streamline threat detection and response. They had to assign skilled analysts to manually sift through all of the data and make the connections. With a staggering number of daily alerts and false positives, the task was, and is, nearly impossible. Attacks are missed everyday, and breaches are unfolding. We set out to change that.

What is Hunters’ solution? What challenge does it solve?

Hunters.AI drives detection accuracy while improving SOC efficiency. We help security teams detect more with less noise, faster, and without the need to recruit more expensive and impossible-to-retain operators and analysts.

As stated before, today’s detection and response processes do not match today’s threat landscape. Cyber attackers do not cover their tracks anymore, they simply blend in with legitimate-looking activities. In addition to that, SOC teams, which are at the front lines of this battle, have been deploying one innovative solution after the other, but have yet to achieve detection and response that works effectively and efficiently. They have to allocate resources to manually pick up signals from petabytes of siloed data, make the connection, and all in real time. Even those single-sensors solutions miss on signals that are “noisy.”

To sum it all up, SOCs were built to detect using people, while Hunters.AI is built to detect signals and deliver accurate findings for SOCs, automatically.

Why did Hunters want to work with Okta?

With Okta as a leader in the identity space, and Hunters as a cognitive layer on top of many other security products, across market categories, it made for a very straightforward match.

How is Hunters working with Okta? What support do you look for in a corporate partner?

Hunters.AI can ingest Okta logs from customers, through the Okta API. The system uses logs not just for detecting suspicious behaviours, but also for enrichment and context in their automated investigation phase.

What trends do you expect to see in the security industry?

Extended detection and response (XDR): XDR reflects a big evolution in security efficacy across organizations. It emerged last year and is essentially an analytics-based approach to threat detection and response, one that interconnects siloed security telemetry. I believe, in one form or another, it’s here to stay. At Hunters, we never intended to be an XDR, but we knew very early on that detection and response needs to be automated, and it needs to look well beyond the endpoint to deliver accurate, timely findings to SOC. It’s an honor for us to be recognized by Gartner for that, and we will continue to enhance our product to provide a best-of-breed XDR ecosystem with maximum detection value to customers. I think we are likely to see more “open” XDRs that work with a multitude of cyber security vendors. The tricky part will be to detect threats with better speed and accuracy.

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