The Silicon Review
ThetaRay is a recognized leader in anomaly detection for financial crime, cyber security and industrial security. The core technology was developed over the course of 10 years at Yale & Tel Aviv Universities. ThetaRay’s advanced analytics platform offers solutions for financial crime, risk detection, operational efficiency and cyber security for financial, Industrial Internet and enterprise customers across the globe.
Founded in 2013 by leading academics Professor Ronald Coifman (Yale University) and Professor Amir Averbuch (Tel Aviv University), the company is headed by veteran cyber security expert Mark Gazit. ThetaRay was established to use transformational studies in big data analytics and machine learning to detect unknown threats and identify unknown opportunities, specifically in the areas of cyber, finance and industrial.
After receiving an award from General Electric for their innovation in the area of industrial internet, the company saw additional success with the rollout of their chief focus - a platform that empowers financial institutions to detect financial crime in the cyber world. In the new cyber arena, criminal activity evolves quickly and banks must be able to detect potential threats before they become critical. ThetaRay received an early vote of confidence from ING - one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
Motive behind setting- up ThetaRay
The company positions itself as a leading provider of big data analytics and machine learning to identify threats and detect unknown opportunities, in the field of cyber, finance and industry. The company’s aim is to transform the way that the world deals with data.
At the outset, ThetaRay created an anomaly detection platform to detect cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. After listening to the market, their current focus and main set of solutions are aimed at empowering financial institutions to detect financial crime in the cyber world. Crime has changed, banks now play in the cyber arena, and the threats are more advanced.
The success of the solutions is demonstrated with GE announcing their reward for ThetaRay for being the most innovative company in the industrial internet arena. The second significant recognition was the company’s a vote of confidence from ING, one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
In no time, the company learnt how best to present their findings to customers in a way that was exciting and visually appealing. ThetaRay customers began to provide feedback that included “we didn’t know what we were looking for, until you showed us on your platform”.
ThetaRay’s success is driven by their technology’s ability to rapidly analyze massive amounts of data. Companies are generating more and more data every day, and this will continue to drive the need for robust big data analytics platforms.
The company attributes its success to:
“The formation of ThetaRay is a result of the 15 years of academic research carried out by two world renowned mathematicians from Yale and Tel Aviv University’s over. On a personal level, I have been working in cyber security since the early days, helping to secure financial institutions and governments against advanced cyber threats. Knowing that ThetaRay has the ability to help companies collect data and uncover the hidden ‘needle in the needle stack’ inspires me every day”
“We see it in terms of our relationships with customers. We have been very privileged to have large organizations believe in us, but that’s only the beginning of the journey. Now the challenge is to meet and exceed their expectations day after day. It’s important to kick start relationships, but crucial to maintain them for long-term success,” Says CEO
In today’s age of connected devices, when everything is online and machines are speaking with machines, the IT department must adapt as well. Not only referring to the industrial sector; today, significant portions of financial transactions are carried out by machines. There is no way that humans alone can analyze the enormous amounts of data that all of this activity is generating. ThetaRay’s products enable machines to handle the data instead - in real time, with very high precision and minimal false alarms.
Five years down the Lane
Humans alone cannot handle the massive amounts of data that are being generated by financial organizations in today’s connected world. Within the next year or two, every organization will need a system like ThetaRay that requires no rules, signatures or existing knowledge, but instead uses intelligent machine learning that can truly protect them from unknown threats.
Insights from the top
CEO Mark Gazit explains that the main customer response has been very positive. According to Gazit, banks are surprised that ThetaRay’s advanced analytics platform can solve a problem that was considered to be impossible to solve even ten years ago - detecting the unknown unknowns. Over time the company has learned how best to present actionable findings to customers, who admit that ThetaRay’s patented technology can answer questions that financial organizations have never thought to ask.
The company has expanded their offering by listening to the market. Gazit explains that his team learns from customer feedback about what’s important. Anecdotally, he explains, ThetaRay created solutions with no emphasis on a UI because there was an understanding that the ThetaRay system would fit legacy systems. When they discovered that customers were unhappy with their legacy UI too, the ThetaRay team created their own UI, which has excellent reviews from customers. Gazit relates that they have customers who are compelled to buy into the solution simply in order to benefit from the cutting edge interface. It’s the killer combination of proprietary algorithms and the UX that makes the ThetaRay proposition so compelling.
The organization prides itself on its people, and its ability to constantly innovate, as demonstrated in the enormous amount of intellectual property owned by the company.
In today’s age of connected devices, when everything is online and machines are speaking with machines, IT departments must also adapt. There is no way that humans alone can analyze the innumerable amounts of data that multi-channel banking generates. ThetaRay’s algorithms enable machines to handle data analysis in real time with very high precision and minimal false alarms.
Gazit wraps up our interview with a quip that as difficult as it is to start a venture, it is far more difficult to maintain it. While ThetaRay has been privileged to have large organizations believe in their ground breaking solutions, they recognize that this is just the start of their journey to transform the way that the world deals with data. The challenge will always be to meet and exceed customers’ expectations day in, day out. A challenge that ThetaRay seems well equipped to address.
“We serve a real need, helping institutions detect new and unknown threats.”