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As Enterprises Dip Their Toes Into Generative AI, Plurilock Finds Gains In Selling Safety

A few years ago, a strong password and antivirus software were all businesses needed to stay safe online. According to Ian Paterson, CEO of Victoria-based Plurilock, that era has ended.

“You should expect that some of your defences are going to be compromised, meaning you should just accept that you cannot keep the bad guys out,” Paterson told BetaKit. “Success now looks like being able to recognize that intrusion and eradicating the intruders before they’re able to commit damage. To me, that’s an indication that the bad guys have the edge.”

A quick glance at this year’s headlines bears this out. Indigo Books, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, Suncor, Petro Canada, and even the Prime Minister’s Office are just a handful of Canadian institutions that have fallen victim to cyberattacks this year.

Plurilock, which offers zero-trust authentication products based on technologies like behavioural biometrics and data loss prevention (DLP) to mid-market organizations, has been keenly watching the growing number of cyberattacks on Canadian firms in recent years, as well as the rise of new threat vectors for cybercriminals, and how regulators have sought to respond.

At the same time, Plurilock has scaled significantly—executing a roll-up strategy that has seen the company make four acquisitions and grow its revenue from roughly $500,000 to over $64 million in just two years.

Buoyed by this recent growth, and in light of the increasing wave of high-profile hacks and resulting regulatory scrutiny, Plurilock is setting its sights on the industry’s next disruptive force: generative AI.

The path to growth less travelled

Plurilock traces its origins to a group of University of Victoria PhDs, who in 2016, were conducting research into a then-novel form of authentication: behavioural biometrics.

Behavioural biometrics refers to the unique patterns and behaviours individuals exhibit when interacting with digital devices or systems. Unlike physical biometrics like fingerprints or retina scans, behavioural biometrics focuses on task performance, such as typing rhythms or mouse movements. These patterns are unique and consistent enough among individuals to serve as a form of identification.

“There was a good corpus of intellectual property that had been amassed, and it looked like it was commercially viable,” Paterson said.

Following several years of product development, Plurilock secured contracts with customers in finance and defence. Today, its product suite uses behavioural biometrics and artificial intelligence to provide continuous authentication and allow organizations to discover threats.