This report first appeared on CyberScoop.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Air Force awarded an $18.8 million cybersecurity contract to a firm laden with talent from the intelligence community.
The deal comes almost one year after the publication of a report by the Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board warned of software vulnerabilities in the military’s digital infrastructure.
Arlington, Virginia-based Endgame secured the deal to provide the Air Force with an endpoint, detection and response platform, complete with a suite of defensive tools. The company’s software is leveraged by cybersecurity professionals to “hunt” down hackers in a compromised digital environment.
“Most security teams are forced to wait for prior threat intelligence — known as indicators of compromise or signatures — to determine whether their systems are infected … Endgame’s comprehensive EDR platform succeeds where others fail, detecting attacks at their earliest stage without prior threat intelligence,” a company blog post reads.
Roughly 25 percent of the firm’s workforce of more than 100 came to Endgame with experience in the intelligence space, a spokesperson told CyberScoop. It was dubbed the “Blackwater of Hacking” by Forbes’ magazine.
Analysts believe the nearly $19 million contract is one of the largest endpoint protection software purchases in the Air Force’s history. Endgame’s products lean on machine learning and data analytics technologies to help operators identify anomalies in network activity in realtime.
A $1.5 million Air Force pilot program secured by Endgame in December 2015 introduced the Virginia defense contractor to the service, according to Fortune. A company spokesperson declined to provide information about past Defense Department contracts.
“As attacks become more polymorphic, Endgame’s unique ability to anticipate never-before-seen adversary techniques will help the Air Force better prevent, detect and hunt attackers before they cause damage or loss,” Endgame CEO Nate Fick said in a statement.
In the past, the Air Force’s “red flag” training sessions held at Nellis Air Force Base — a Nevada venue that provides operators with a simulated digital environment to counter and deploy cyberattacks — have employed Endgame’s products, according to Defense Systems.