Consolidation: Focus on Palo Alto Deal

Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 10:03 AM gHale


In a move to expand its portfolio, security software maker Palo Alto Networks Inc. will pay $200 million to pick up privately-held Israeli security company Cyvera.

Since January, the acquisition deal wheel has been spinning with more companies coming to the realization that consolidation is one way to continue growing in a security industry that is beginning to take off. More users are becoming aware security issues are vital to ensure their enterprises stay up and running and intellectual property stays where it belongs, in the hands of its owners. Security reports released over the past few weeks have shown board level awareness of security issues are garnering much more attention.

Cyvera’s software, which protects businesses by blocking Zero Day attacks, allows users to safely enable applications and protect them against threats on any device, across any network. Zero Day attacks exploit a vulnerability in computer systems and networks known only to the attacker.

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This move “extends our next-generation security platform with a very innovative approach to preventing attacks on the endpoint,” said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive of Palo Alto Networks. “It enables us to accelerate the delivery of the market’s only highly integrated and automated enterprise security platform spanning network, endpoints, and the cloud.”

The goal for Cyvera was to strengthen endpoint protection, which is now one of the most vulnerable security vectors, said Uri Alter and Netanel Davidi, co-founders and co-chief executives of Cyvera.

Zero Day attacks represent one of the greatest threats to enterprises, governments, and service provider organizations that rely on an array of systems, applications, and devices to run their business. These attacks exploit a vulnerability known only to the attacker. While there are literally tens of thousands of vulnerabilities an attacker can potentially target, there is a significantly smaller number of exploit techniques they may use to exploit that vulnerability.

Patching does provide an element of protection, it does little to protect organizations against vulnerabilities not yet discovered. Simply detecting the presence of malware is also insufficient since malicious activity may already started up and evasion tactics employed. In order to stop Zero Day attacks, it remains vital to understand the exploit techniques attackers use.That is what Cyvera hangs its hat one. It developed a method of performing real-time prevention against all core attack techniques at the endpoint during the exploitation phase, before the malware has a chance to run.

This was not the first deal Palo Alto made this year. In January, the company dealt for Morta Security, a Silicon Valley-based cyber security firm operating since 2012. Morta Security has a team focused on protecting national infrastructure as well as technologies that enhance the detection and prevention capabilities of the Palo Alto Networks WildFire platform offering.

Tel Aviv-based Cyvera has 55 employees, Palo Alto officials said, who added the deal should close in the second half of its fiscal year 2014.

This deal comes on the heels of security testing provider Trustwave acquiring security provider Cenzic and Lockheed Martin purchasing security provider Industrial Defender.

The Trustwave/Cenzic combination will create an integrated security testing platform designed to help businesses identify and address security weaknesses, officials said.

In addition, Lockheed Martin will acquire manufacturing automation security provider, Industrial Defender.

Foxborough, MA-based Industrial Defender is a privately held company with more than 130 employees in three facilities. The company’s solutions focus on protecting and managing critical infrastructure by reducing cyber risks, easing regulatory compliance and enhancing the efficiency of customers’ control environments.



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