Faculty Startup Acquired for Predictive AI and Machine Learning Capabilities

Nov. 3, 2023

Founded in 2006 based on inventions created by University of Arizona engineering professor, Avirtek Inc. is now part of LOCH Technologies.

Salim Hariri with robotic technology in his laboratory.

Salim Hariri

Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona

Avirtek, a startup that grew out of innovations developed at the NSF Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing (CAC) at the University of Arizona, has been acquired by LOCH Technologies. Originally developed by Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and CAC Director Salim Hariri, Avirtek’s autonomic cybersecurity (ACS) technology has benefitted from over $10 million in SBIR and STTR funding from the Department of Defense, Air Force Research Labs, the U.S. Army, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Navy.

“As you hear every day in the media of successful cyberattacks against our computers, networks, data, and applications in spite of the billion dollars we spend annually on cybersecurity technology, I know we need a new and innovative approach to address cybersecurity challenges,” said Hariri. “I am proud that my UA research and Avirtek self-protection technology that will be deployed commercially by LOCH will have broad impacts on making our cyber resources trustworthy and well-protected from cyberattacks.”

Today, there are an estimated 15 billion Internet of Things or “IoT” devices in the world connecting to the Web. Estimates are that by 2030 that number will increase to almost 30 billion devices. Those devices have become essential tools for everyday life. In some cases, such as medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps, people’s very survival depends upon them.

And yet, the fact that they are connected to the internet represents great vulnerabilities, exposing users to potential dangers posed by those with malicious intent. As a result, managing the communications traffic between these devices through encryption has become an essential aspect of their implementation.

"Encrypted traffic has become mainstream in the cyber world today as privacy and data security become more important—however, encrypted traffic shields malicious traffic introduced by attackers from being detected. Adding our capability to the LOCH platform provides a new and required threat visibility detection possibility," said Hariri, who is assuming the role of Senior Vice President of Research and Development at LOCH.

Avirtek's ACS technology, analogous to the human nervous system, can self-manage and self-protect systems with little human involvement, using adaptive machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies.

"I look forward to integrating their behavior analytics into our platform and increasing our role in the operations and cybersecurity process,” said Kurt Gurtzmacher, Chief Scientist at LOCH Technologies. “There are unique and significant advancements being made by Avirtek in analyzing datasets, even those that are encrypted."

Integrating Avirtek's technology into the LOCH platform enables a comprehensive data detection and response capability (DDR) for predictive AI anomaly detection across all networks and data streams. This represents a game-changing advancement in the field of cybersecurity, significantly reducing organizations' exposure states before a loss or incident occurs.

LOCH is a wireless machine vision platform that offers real-time visibility protection for IoT, industrial Internet of Things, and Internet of Medical Things devices. Their wireless platform delivers next-generation cybersecurity, performance monitoring, and cost management for all 5G and for broad-spectrum IoT, IoMT, and operational technology wireless environments. Loch assists organizations in navigating rapid transformation and thriving in a wireless world.


Paul Tumarkin, Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications