Cybersecurity platform Observable Networks poised for growth

Patrick Crowley

As more devices become connected through the Internet of Things, businesses and end users are facing increasing security risks for their corporate and private networks. Cloud-based cybersecurity platform Observable Networks identifies suspicious behavior and vulnerabilities with a customized network security and management process called dynamic endpoint modeling.

"The piece that’s missing from today’s security is behavioral models of everything that speaks on our network and recognize when they go off the rails and tell somebody about it,” CEO Bryan Doerr said in a recent interview with journalist Robert Scoble. Located in St. Louis, SaaS startup Observable Networks analyzes and monitors companies’ network devices including printers, phones and data centers.

Chief Technology Officer Patrick Crowley, a professor of computer science and director of the Applied Research Laboratory at WashU’s School of Engineering & Applied Science, founded Observable Networks in 2011. Crowley and Doerr, who earned a master’s in information management at WashU in 1998, have raised $4 million, including a $1.625 million round in late February, a $50,000 Arch Grant and almost $2 million from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.

The network security market, estimated between $20 billion and $60 billion, has been fueled by the proliferation of network-connected devices, especially mobile. Since Observable Networks entered the market in April of 2014, Doerr and Crowley have signed customers in eight industries and recently announced partnerships with Schneider Electric and IT infrastructure provider Options and Kraft Kennedy, among others.

“I forecast that we'll hit triple-digit customer count in the next month or two,” says Crowley.