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Cyber security is hot... here's the top M&A deals so far in 2021

Cyber security is hot... here's the top M&A deals so far in 2021

The cyber security market is hot, and vendors are buying competitors to solidify their position or acquiring other firms to expand their offerings.

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“In a short time, Gemini Advisory has become a leader in the fraud space with unique offerings in both payment card intelligence and merchant fraud intelligence... joining forces with Gemini Advisory expands the value we deliver for customers across enterprise security and fraud,” said Dr. Christopher Ahlberg, CEO and co-founder, Recorded Future, in a press release.

Sonatype boosts code-analysis capabilities with purchase of MuseDev

March 16: Sonatype, which sells tools for software supply chain management and security, has acquired MuseDev.

The company’s main product automatically analyses each developer pull request to help find security, performance and reliability flaws. “…with the acquisition of MuseDev, we are further expanding our platform to help customers automatically control the quality of code their developers write,” said Wayne Jackson, CEO of Sonatype, in a press release.

“Coupled with our recently launched Nexus Container and Infrastructure as Code solutions, we are now delivering a developer-friendly and full-spectrum software supply chain management platform….” Terms of the acquisition were not released.

Lookout buys SASE company CipherCloud

March 15: Lookout, a provider of mobile endpoint security solutions, has entered the SASE market with the acquisition of CipherCloud. Product categories that CipherCloud offers include cloud access security broker (CASB), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and data loss prevention (DLP). The goal of the purchase was to provide an “end-to-end platform that secures an organisation’s entire data path from endpoint to cloud,” according to a Lookout press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SailPoint Technologies announced intent to acquire ERP Maestro

March 12: Once finalised, the acquisition of SaaS governance, risk and compliance (GRC) provider ERP Maestro will add segregation-of-duties (SoD) capabilities to SailPoint’s identity security offering. This deal closely follows Sailpoint’s acquisition of Intello, a SaaS management company that helps organisations discover, manage, and secure SaaS applications, in late February.

The company said that the addition of ERP Maestro will provide an “integrated approach for effective identity security controls and SoD oversight now required to spot and stop risks posed by potential insider SoD conflicts.” Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Fortinet quietly buys ShieldX

March 10: Enterprise security platform provider Fortinet has acquired ShieldX, which provides a platform to secure multi-cloud environments. The deal was not immediately announced, but it was confirmed in a ShieldX blog post.

“ShieldX extends perimeter security and campus segmentation with east-west lateral movement prevention. Along with Fortinet, ShieldX enables customers to get an end-to-end view of end-users, workstations, and OT devices from the individual endpoint to the data centre,” according to the blog post. Terms of the deal were not released.

Sontiq buys fintech breach intelligence vendor Breach Clarity

March 9: Identity security vendor Sontiq has acquired Breach Clarity, known for its AI-based data breach intelligence solutions for the fintech industry. With the deal, Sontiq to add a BreachIQ capability to its IdentityForce, Cyberscout and EZShield products. Terms of the deal were not announced.

McAfee sells its enterprise business, becomes pure-play consumer cyber security company

March 8: McAfee Corp. has sold its enterprise security business to an investment group led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG) for $4 billion. STG had earlier acquired RSA from Dell Technologies in February 2020. “This transaction will allow McAfee to singularly focus on our consumer business and to accelerate our strategy to be a leader in personal security for consumers,” said McAfee CEO Peter Leav in a press release. McAfee’s enterprise business will be rebranded once the deal is finalised.

Okta buys IAM rival Auth0 for $6.5 billion

March 3: Okta seeks to solidify its position as an enterprise identity management services provider with its purchase of rival Auth0. The two product lines will continue to operate independently and be developed.

“I’ve shared my vision for a future in which organisations only rely on a few primary clouds: an infrastructure cloud, a collaboration cloud, a CRM cloud -- and we’re on a mission to establish identity as one of the primary clouds,” said Okta CEO Todd McKinnon in a blog post. “Okta and Auth0 share the same vision for the identity market, and we know that we will achieve it faster together.” The sale is yet to be finalised.

KnowBe4 adds privacy and compliance training with MediaPRO buy

March 3: Security awareness training provider KnowBe4 has acquired MediaPRO, another security and privacy training provider. With the purchase, KnowBe4 intends to offer more privacy and compliance training modules, according to a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Private equity firm merges identity security firms Thycotic and Centrify

March 2: TPG Capital has combined two of its recently acquired companies in the identity security space: Thycotic and Centrify. Thycotic is known for its cloud-first identity security solutions, while Centrify is a player in the privileged access management (PAM) market.

“Combining these two synergistic platforms allows us to offer customers an expanded range of products to address their increasingly complex security requirements,” said James Legg, who will become president of the merged firms, in a press release. Legg previously was CEO of Thycotic.

Kaseya boosts its MSP offerings with purchase of RocketCyber

February 23: Kaseya, which provides security management solutions to managed service providers (MSPs), has acquired RocketCyber, which will continue to operate separately within Kaseya. RocketCyber provides a cloud-agent SOC designed for MSPs.

“The addition of RocketCyber makes Kaseya IT Complete the only integrated platform in the market to deliver managed SOC, automated internal threat detection, credential monitoring, anti-phishing and more for a truly comprehensive, end-to-end cyber security suite that tackles all of today’s modern-day threats,” said Fred Voccola, CEO, Kaseya, in a press release.

Proofpoint in agreement to buy DLP vendor InteliSecure

February 22: Proofpoint has announced its intent to acquire InteliSecure, a provider of DLP managed services, for $62.5 million. The company will use InteliSecure’s technology to enhance the data protection capabilities of the Proofpoint cloud platform.

“We’ve seen exceptional customer demand for information protection managed services as organisations are continuing to work in a cloud-first, remote-oriented world,” said Gary Steele, Proofpoint CEO, in a press release. 

CrowdStrike announces intent to acquire Humio

February 18: With Humio, CrowdStrike plans incorporate the company’s cloud log management and observability technology into its cloud endpoint and workload protection solutions. The goal, according to a press release, is to expand CrowdStrike’s XDR capabilities.

“The combination of real-time analytics and smart filtering built into CrowdStrike’s proprietary Threat Graph and Humio’s blazing-fast log management and index-free data ingestion dramatically accelerates our XDR capabilities beyond anything the market has seen to date,” said CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz in a press release. The value of the deal is expected to be $400 million.

Palo Alto Networks to acquire cloud security firm Bridgecrew

February 16: Palo Alto Networks has announced its intent to acquire Bridgecrew for $156 million. The company plans to incorporate Bridgecrew’s technology with its Prisma Cloud cloud-native security platform.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bridgecrew and their widely adopted and trusted developer security platform to Palo Alto Networks. When combined, Prisma Cloud customers will benefit from having security embedded in the very foundation of their cloud infrastructure," said Palo Alto Networks CEO and chairman Nikesh Arora in a press release.

Tenable to acquire Alsid for its Active Directory know-how

February 10: Tenable Holdings has announced its intent to buy Alsid for $98 million. The deal would allow Tenable to bring Alsid’s technology and expertise in discovering Active Directory monitoring to its cyber exposure and risk management platform.

“Tightly controlling the privileges of accounts in Active Directory is as foundational to reducing risk to the business as the basic blocking and tackling of deploying security updates... attackers go after the Active Directory infrastructure to increase access and establish persistence,” said Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO, Tenable, in a press release.

SentinelOne buys Scalyr for autonomous XDR

February 9: The acquisition of cloud-based data analytics platform provider Scalyr will allow SentinelOne to “ingest, correlate, search, and action data from any source, delivering the industry’s most advanced integrated XDR platform for realtime threat mitigation across the enterprise and cloud,” according to a press release. Terms of the sale were not released.

Rapid7 acquires Kubernetes security provider Alcide.IO

February 1: Security analytics and automation firm Rapid7 has bought Israeli firm Alcide.IO for $50 million. Alcide’s product provides code-to-production security for Kubernetes deployments.

“In order to take full advantage of the speed and innovation Kubernetes can unlock for an organisation, security needs to be tightly integrated without getting in the way,” said Brian Johnson, senior vice president of cloud security at Rapid7, in a press release. “With Alcide, we can enable organisations to continuously secure and protect their growing Kubernetes deployments while giving developers the freedom to rapidly develop and deliver applications.”

MDR meets EDR as Huntress acquires technology from Level Effect

January 12: Managed detection and response (MDR) vendor Huntress has purchased endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology, called Recon, from startup Level Effect. Recon merges endpoint protection with network traffic visibility.

“Our core telemetry today focuses primarily on persistence-enabled attacks. By integrating Recon, our platform will respond to malicious network sessions, event logs and non-persistent threats, allowing us to support broader cyber security use cases and defend additional attack surfaces,” said Huntress CEO Kyle Hanslovan in a press release.


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