Darktrace - Nicole Eagan
Company: Darktrace, San Francisco, CA
Company Description: Named ‘Best Security Company of the Year’ 2016, Darktrace is one of the world’s leaders in cyber threat defense. Its Enterprise Immune System technology detects and responds to previously unidentified threats, powered by machine learning and mathematics developed by specialists from the University of Cambridge. Darktrace is headquartered in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco, with 22 global offices.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Products –11 to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Nicole Eagan, CEO
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Nicole Eagan is reinventing the conversation around cyber security. CEO of Darktrace, a company founded by government intelligence experts and leading mathematicians, Eagan is taking a radically new approach to the constantly evolving landscape of cyber attack. Unlike legacy approaches to cyber security, which rely on rules and signatures and thus cannot defend against previously unknown threats, Darktrace’s self-learning ‘Immune System’ approach uses unsupervised machine learning and probabilistic mathematics to understand a network’s ‘pattern of life’ and thus become able to detect anomalous activity as it arises. As CEO, Eagan has led Darktrace to phenomenal growth—600% year-on-year from 2015 to 2016—and worked to gain $65 million in funding from KKR, a private equity pioneer, in 2016.
Under Eagan’s leadership, Darktrace has become a global leader in an intensely competitive cyber security space, a testament both to the demand for this innovative machine learning technology and its success on the market and to Eagan’s management. As further indication of her success at establishing Darktrace as a globally influential innovator, Eagan accompanied then British Prime Minister David Cameron to Washington DC where she discussed cyber security policy with U.S. President Barack Obama in January of 2015. In May 2016, the Darktrace CEO accompanied the US Embassy on their official trade mission to Japan, where she both launched Darktrace into the Asian market and secured a partnership with Samsung SDS. Under Eagan’s guidance, Darktrace also expanded into India and the Latin American market, with Darktrace representatives accompanying British government representatives on their trade mission to Mexico in November of 2015, which placed emphasis on protecting Mexico’s cities and critical national infrastructure.
Eagan has overseen all deployments of Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System technology since 2014 and the expansion of the company’s offices to their 22 current global locations. Darktrace, under Eagan’s leadership, has won 20 awards around the world, including the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2016, a 2016 Business Weekly Award for the ‘best disruptive technology,’ the prize for Best Security Technology at the 2016 Techies, and a gold medal at the 2015 Business Awards.
Perhaps most impressively, Eagan directed the launch of a new Darktrace product that is reshaping cyber security: Antigena, the first truly automated, self-defending cyber defense system. Eagan’s dedication to seeing Darktrace expand the frontiers of cyber security and look toward future innovation is best exemplified by this fundamentally new approach. Antigena’s pioneering, adaptive technology represents a fundamental step-change in our ability to defend against advanced and sophisticated cyber-attacks, for the first time allowing organizations to proactively counter new and evolving threats in real time. Antigena makes it possible for organizations to defend themselves against attacks that no human cyber analyst can work quickly enough to handle.
‘Woman of the Year’ at the 2016 Cyber Security Awards, Eagan is redefining an industry while rapidly growing a company. Even during this rapid expansion, Eagan takes time to speak with each potential new hire and engages with her teams around the world, working closely with entry-level employees and senior board members alike. Eagan’s dedication to Darktrace and her ability to bring the technical world of cyber security to an executive audience make her a visionary leader.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Nicole Eagan is Chief Executive Officer at Darktrace, where she has led the company since 2014, and rapidly grown it into a global leader in cyber defense. Winner of ‘Woman of the Year’ at the Cyber Security Awards 2016, Ms. Eagan has an extensive career in technology leadership with over 25 years of commercial and marketing expertise, working to turn fundamental ideas into real world products and helping companies scale. Under Nicole’s leadership, Darktrace’s machine learning and mathematical approach to cyber defense has won over 20 awards, including World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2015. Darktrace, headquartered in Cambridge, England and San Francisco, CA, has raised over $90 million to fund its global expansion and now has 300 employees working across 18 countries.