Payment Giant PayPal Acquires Co That Predicts Future Cyberattacks

Predicts Future Cyberattacks

This is good news for millions of users doing online transactions. Continuing its strategy to get deeper into security technology and malware detection, online payment giant PayPal (a unit of e-commerce giant eBay), has acquired Israel-based cybersecurity firm CyActive. Financial terms of acquisition weren't disclosed but local press reports leaked out and put the price at $ 60 million.

The deal is more about improving PayPal's security capabilities. CyActive's area of expertise is in predicting malware before it hits corporate network, and then helping clients better prepare for it. It's sort of like the movie Minority Report by Tom Cruise, except it uses predictive analytics instead of human to foresee incoming threats.

The acquisition is also part of a larger plan- to build a new security center hub in Israel. CyActive and another acquired Israeli startup FraudSciences, will make up the bulk of the new PayPal's security center in Israel. PayPal released no further details about the new security hub, but IT experts believed that the new center, which will develop technologies to help track and identify malware, will have 20 employees.

James Barrese, PayPal CTO and SVP said: “ This new security center will allow us to tap into the country's cutting-edge technology and top cybersecurity talent. Our goal is to extend our global security leadership, and bolster our efforts in predictive threat detection and prevention.”

Founded in 2013 by CEO Liran Tancman and CTO Shlomi Boutnaru, CyActive is a cybersecurity company that uses predictive analytics to forecast future cyber attacks and protect companies against cyber threats. The Israel-based startup has developed an unprecedented ability to automatically fast-forward to the future of malware evolution, based on bio-inspired algorithms and deep understanding of the hacking process. It raised $ 2 million from the venture capital unit of Siemens and Jerusalem Ventures Partners.

Cyber security has become one of the greatest challenges in the tech industry; it accounts for hundreds of billion of dollars in stolen funds and intellectual property rights, as well as damage to infrastructures and properties. Meanwhile, the frequency and severity of advanced cyber attacks on businesses and organizations have exploded in recent years, and are still growing at an alarming rate. The current cyber security paradigm is reactive, and response times could vary from weeks to years. And if a counter-measure is designed and made available, attackers can easily modify the original code, evade the updated security measures and launch further attacks.

This is PayPal's second major acquisition in Israel, after it acquired financial fraud specialist FraudSciences in 2008 for roughly $ 169 million. It is also PayPal's second major acquisition this year, last week it acquired mobile wallet company Paydiant (the company behind merchant collective CurrentC) for nearly $300 million.

PayPal is no stranger to the Israeli tech space, the company has been active in the Israel tech ground for some time. In 2008, it snatched FraudSciences, a financial fraud and analytics firm. And last November, it awarded Israeli startup AirHop $100,000 in its BattleHack for Good contest.

Image Credit: IamWire

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