Amazon’s cloud unit buys cybersecurity startup founded by ex-NSA workers

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), the cloud computing arm of e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc., has acquired cybersecurity startup Sqrrl Data Inc., whose founders previously worked for the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Sqrrl confirmed the acquisition on its website but didn’t disclose terms of the deal. However, US news portal Axios had reported in December last year that AWS was in advanced talks to acquire Sqrrl for more than $40 million.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Sqrrl said that it will continue to work with its customers to provide advanced threat hunting capabilities and will also work with AWS on customer offerings in the future.

Sqrrl was founded in 2012 and counted Spring Lake Equity Partners and Matrix Partners among its investors. The company says its software helps cybersecurity analysts discover, and deal with, advanced threats faster.

For Jeff Bezos-led Amazon, the deal will help it pick up more business from US intelligence agencies, according to a CNBC report. In November, AWS had announced setting up data centres in a secret place to perform jobs for some clients, one of which could be the NSA, the report said.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been focused on expanding its cloud services. Earlier this month, Amazon released its version of the open-source Linux operating system for enterprise customers that use AWS. This marked a shift in Amazon’s cloud strategy as it did not previously allow such operating systems to run on its clients’ servers.

In the public cloud segment, AWS is the leader with global operating income of $1.17 billion and global revenue of $4.58 billion recorded for the third quarter of 2017. Closest rivals are Google and Microsoft.

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