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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2017

HAWK Network Defense: Improving Enterprise Cybersecurity Operations With Cloud-Based AI

thesiliconreview-david-harris-ceo-tim-shelton-cto-hawk-network-defense-2017“The industry has needed the ability for artificial intelligence to automate the triage of security events for some time now.’s ability to deliver this solution with great accuracy as a SAAS solution represents the new model in an ever-changing cyber security landscape.”: David Harris, CEO HAWK Network Defense

Cyber attacks. We are all hearing about them; we read about them daily and many of us have experienced them.

Every day, they become a starker reality for all businesses and organizations – no matter the industry or size. While government, business leaders, and the media have been saying that cyber-attacks are no longer a question of if, but when, the clamour isn’t enough to minimize the harsh effects of these threats. Unfortunately most companies won’t know they have been hacked until it’s too late.

In light of the above-mentioned concern, we are excited to present HAWK Network Defense, the manufacturer of™, a revolutionary multi-tenant, cloud-based Big Data Security Analytics Platform – that allows enterprises to make timely, well-informed security decisions from the ever-growing aggregations of logged data. is the natural evolution of legacy SIEM to Big Data Analytics by applying true artificial intelligence to analyze huge volumes of security related machine data to detect the previously undetectable. Designed from the ground up to provide fast and simple onboarding of users and devices, helps customers avoid lengthy, expensive deployments and results in rapid time-to-value. HAWKs’ innovative Big Data Security Analytics (BDSA) platform allows enterprises to identify, validate and prioritize true security incidents. The cloud-based solution features a massively scalable architecture that delivers high-speed data ingestion and a highly efficient patented analytics engine. customers benefit from rapid installation and setup times, simple administration, out-of-the-box analytics, and dynamic threat intelligence feeds.

Interview Excerpt: David Harris, CEO

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

HAWK was created to solve the problem companies are having with being inundated with security alerts by automating the triage and creation, validation, and prioritization of true security incidents. All of this is provided in our multi-tenant cloud solution. Companies no longer need dedicated infrastructure, engineers or data scientist with

What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?

HAWK’s Big Data Security Analytics platform was designed to be a cloud offering from the start. Early on we sold our solution to cloud providers and they, in turn, offered the solution to their customers. With that experience and success under our belt, we launched (big data security analytics as a service) in the spring of 2017. is a multi-tenant, cloud-based big data security analytics platform. It uses rich analytics and artificial intelligence in real-time on all IT machine data to accurately detect, validate, and prioritize only relevant security incidents. SecOP personnel is notified with information about incidents. is a disruptive new solution in the growing User/Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) and legacy Security Information/Event Management (SIEM) market. With HAWK’s technology and SAAS model, customers get a single vendor solution that delivers highly accurate advanced security analytics that are easier to use, lower cost, and higher value.

Easy to Use

  • Stand up a Security Operations Center (SOC) that leverages advanced security analytics and reporting quickly in days, not weeks/months
  • Analytics that covers all users, applications, and assets
  • Receive only accurate security incidents instead of a flood of alerts
  • Simple, effective Incident Workflow Management

Low Cost

  • Simple consumption-based pricing model allows for flexibility and affordability as IT environments change over time
  • Attractive to companies with security monitoring/reporting requirements but with smaller budgets for IT/security staffing and software/hardware expenditures

High Value

  • Delivers accurate, actionable security incidents
  • Reporting that is highly configurable and high performance
  • Effective analytics can automate Level 1 SOC operations, eliminating the need for additional FTEs, therefore enabling Level 2 security analysts to be more effective
  • Rapid time-to-efficiency

Are there any trigger factors/events/individuals that have played key roles in shaping your organization’s road map?

Experience blend of security practitioners and security technologist are the key. Functioning as a single unit encourages innovation every day. Along the way, we have found that some of the most significant innovations are born out of necessity. For example, our enterprise customers and cloud service providers were driving so much data through HAWK’s systems that open source, NoSQL data stores could not handle the scale and replication required by a multi-tenant, cloud platform. HAWK concluded that data stores that relied on data inserts per second as a measurement were simply not able to provide the scalability we needed.

To meet our customers’ needs we designed and wrote our own streaming analytics data store that provides all of the necessary enterprise database management services but handles unlimited data volumes in real-time.

This is the key technical inflection point that proved to us that the architecture was uniquely scalable in this market and enabled our decision to launch as a cloud-based service hosting multiple customers in one instance of the software.

How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?

Cyber Crime/Warfare affects every single person. It’s critical that we as a civilized society have confidence in the new world of Cyber. Whether it’s protecting critical infrastructure services from corruption/disruption, guarding against loss of irreplaceable intellectual property, or passing ever-present regulatory audits, organizations today have very real needs to collect and analyze all activity in their networks, databases, and systems. automates the detection, validation, and prioritization of security incidents.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now? will be at the leading edge of prescriptive analytics research and will evolve into a true security orchestration platform, using artificial intelligence to identify and remediate security threats with little to no human interaction.

Meet the Leadership Team

David Harris, CEO: David Harris was appointed Chief Executive Officer in early 2012. As CEO, he is responsible for the overall strategy and performance of the company. Mr. Harris is a veteran of the IT Security market with over 25 years experience in Management, Sales, and Technology Development. He was a member of the original team at Internet Security Systems ISS, and a key contributor in growing the company from 1 million to over 130 million and a successful IPO in 1998. ISS was later acquired by IBM for 1.4 Billion.

Mr. Harris has served on several boards and is a board member of HAWK. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech University and the Rawls School of Business.

Tim Shelton, CTO: Tim Shelton is responsible for the overall product strategy and integration strategies of the company. He is a heavily experienced IT Security practitioner having served in such roles with several companies, most notably ACS (Xerox). While at ACS, Mr. Shelton was recognized as one the thought leaders in developing the security service delivery models and back-end processes. Tim is also well known as redsand in the independent infosec research community where he specialized in researching new zero-day vulnerabilities and developing new exploit techniques to prove out the vulnerabilities.

Mr. Shelton attended Dallas Baptist University’s School of Computer Science.