Darktrace Says Its AI Can Be Used for Performance Monitoring

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Darktrace Ltd.’s artificial intelligence could be used to better “understand the productivity and performance” of employees, the British company’s Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Eagan said.

“There are adjacent applications” for businesses beyond the cybersecurity functions it focuses on now, Eagan said at the Web Summit conference on Thursday. The technology could also be used to help companies monitor compliance with laws like Europe’s GDPR data protection regime.

The company’s technology works by learning how companies function, monitoring different processes such as employee email patterns to discover irregularities that might flag potential fraud or hacking vulnerabilities. Darktrace’s ability to autonomously respond to such irregularities could lead to other applications for businesses, Eagan said.

A number of companies have turned to employee-monitoring software during the pandemic to help manage productivity from a suddenly remote workforce. These types of programs, which can monitor how long workers are logged on or the amount of time it takes to finish a task, can raise privacy concerns, particularly if people aren’t aware of the surveillance.

Barclays Plc was investigated by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Officer for using employee-monitoring tools earlier this year. The bank said the rollout was a limited pilot.

Darktrace also aims to make its AI more holistic, moving to systems that can be “self healing” after a cyberattack, Eagan said. The company last year introduced an AI “analyst” that can interpret the system’s own findings as it searches for irregularities.

The company, founded in 2013, is weighing an initial public offering as soon as next year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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