The London startup giving meaning to Big Data

Finding patterns in mass data is a service in demand, says Kristofer Månsson of Silobreaker 

Silobreaker did not specialise in cyber security from the start. Rather, cyber security came to it in the form of some of the largest US hardware and software companies looking to gain insight into threat intelligence data they had gathered.

The company believes that because many organisations operate in siloed environments there is a disconnect between data sources – customer or financial information, social media data, market analyses and so on. Companies and governments need to inject some sense into their information by bringing all those sources together.

“The motivation behind cyber attacks is now political, financial or ideological, not really technical like it was several years ago,” co-founder and CEO Kristofer Månsson says. “Governments and companies need us to give the information they have some context. The services we provide – geopolitical analysis, monitoring of global events or situational awareness through social media, for example – are not part of a cyber security company’s traditional offering. But we’re still a cyber company by association because of what we do.”

The company’s focus is on making sense of any combination of unstructured and structured information, providing users with “context, insight, situational awareness and dynamic decision-support”. 

Its solutions are available online, as a subscription-based SaaS system or an on-premise software suite. The company has also launched a mobile application for its cloud-based Silobreaker Premium product.

Its customer base spans several sectors Månsson calls the “intelligence community”, including military, corporate and financial. 

“Defence and cyber go hand-in-hand so most of our customers are in that sector,” he says, adding that they use Silobreaker’s solutions as an “open source intelligence tool” to carry out tasks such as terrorist threat mapping.

He adds: “Corporates are starting to look outwards and find out who their competitors are, what their reputation is, how secure their networks are and so on. We aim to be entity-based insofar as we adapt to the type of organisation that uses our services. Our network tool finds structure in unstructured data, showing what associations the data-set suggests at the time.”

London-based Silobreaker’s biggest market is the EU although it is getting interest from the US, home of the world’s largest Big Data analytics company, the secretive Palantir. “Establishing a presence in the US is something we’re looking to do,” notes Månsson.

The company is weighing up options that would allow it to grow in new sectors and geographies. These could involve raising capital externally for the first time or partnering with or acquiring other companies.

“We seeded with our own funds and have never done any type of venture capital financing, so we could go that way,” Månsson says. “Equally, we’ve not decided if we want to establish an international presence by building on our own capabilities or maybe acquiring a third party’s sales channels. 

“We’re looking to make those decisions in the next few months.”