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A diagram showing the ExtraHop technology (Click for larger version)

Networking giant Cisco plans to draw on technology developed by Seattle’s ExtraHop in a new partnership aimed at improving network security with real-time data.

ExtraHop’s flagship product, a network monitoring platform that can detect potentially dangerous anomalies in network traffic as signs of an attack, can now be implemented alongside Cisco’s Tetration service. Tetration allows network administrators to set policies that react quickly to certain triggers, such as isolating a section of a network with malware.

As networking hardware becomes increasingly commoditized, networking companies must evolve into service providers for their customers, said Raja Mukerji, co-founder and chief customer officer at ExtraHop.

“It’s not about the infrastructure any more, it’s the value you can provide into the information that’s being moved over it,” he said.

ExtraHop Co-founder Raja Mukerji

ExtraHop’s value is simple to understand: it provides real-time data at the packet level about the traffic that is running across your network. Simply logging traffic events doesn’t give you the full picture of what’s actually happening on your network at any given moment, making it much harder to react quickly to malicious attempts to enter that network, he said.

Take ransomware, one of the scarier topics on the minds of network administrators and CIOs in 2017. Most systems that detect the presence of ransomware look for an external event, like when a piece of ransomware connects to a Bitcoin server, Mukerji said. ExtraHop’s technology can examine network traffic and identify ransomware by file extension type before it attempts a connection, hopefully limiting the damage.

ExtraHop will also allow Tetration users to detect brute-force login attempts and expired certificates more quickly than before, Mukerji said. Cisco’s customers will be able to download ExtraHop from the company’s site and it will integrate with their current setup.

ExtraHop was founded 10 years ago by several veterans of F5 Networks, including Mukerji. Last year it hired former Fluke president Arif Kareem as CEO, a move that GeekWire readers decided was the Hire of the Year at our 2017 GeekWire awards.

The company now has around 300 employees and is still working off a 2014 $41 million Series C funding round, backed by Technology Crossover Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, and Madrona Venture Group.

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