The cyber sector is white hot. According to IDC, the hot areas for growth are security analytics/SIEM, threat intelligence, mobile security, and cloud security. Corporations are investing heavily in these areas to combat cybercrime.
The British insurance company Lloyd’s estimates that cyber attacks cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year, which includes direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business. Some vendor and media forecasts put the cybercrime figure as high as $500 billion and more.
How high are the real cybercrime numbers? One might shudder at the calculations. But clearly this explains the hot growth areas which are directly aligned to the cyber threats that cause the most damage... and the M&A activity as larger companies enter burgeoning cyber niches by swallowing up smaller and emerging players.
Here's some noteworthy mergers and acquisition activity to report over the recent quarter (Q2 2015):
AVG Technologies, the online security company for more than 200 million monthly active users, acquires Privax, a leading global provider of desktop and mobile privacy services for consumers. AVG will add Privax’sHMA! Pro VPN to its existing portfolio of security software and services that will be immediately made available to AVG’s global customer base. Privax has more than 250,000 paying subscribers worldwide using its VPN encryption service, while its popular free web-based browser proxy service regularly attracts a global audience of over 8 million unique visitors per month.
Baidu, the Chinese web giant, acquires online security startup Anquanbao for an undisclosed sum, according to QQ Tech. Anquanbao, also based in Beijing, is a cloud-based protection service that guards websites from malware and distributed-denial-of-service attacks.
Blue Coat Systems, a market leader in enterprise security, acquires Perspecsys, a leader in enterprise cloud data protection solutions. With this acquisition, Blue Coat significantly expands its cloud security offerings while enhancing the industry’s most robust hybrid cloud portfolio.
Check Point Software Technologies, the largest pure-play security vendor globally, acquires Lacoon Mobile Security. Lacoon is leading the industry in providing a solution to secure the entire mobile device, with the best advanced threat catch-rate for enterprise-grade mobile security platforms. Lacoon was founded in 2011 by experts from the mobile cyber security and defense industries with R&D operations in Tel Aviv, Israel and a sales team in San Francisco, Calif.
CipherCloud, a leader in cloud security, expands its platform through the acquisition of core technology from Anicut Systems, a privately held provider of adaptive security as a service. This acquisition complements the company’s commitment to delivering a holistic cloud security platform that enables enterprise cloud adoption. The transaction has closed. Financial terms of the acquisition are undisclosed.
Cisco acquires OpenDNS, a privately held security company based in San Francisco. OpenDNS provides advanced threat protection for any device, anywhere, anytime. The acquisition will boost Cisco’s Security Everywhere approach by adding broad visibility and threat intelligence from the OpenDNS cloud delivered platform. Cisco paid $635 million in cash plus other considerations to acquire Open DNS.
CounterTack, a leader in Big Data Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), acquires ManTech Cyber Solutions International (MCSI), a commercial software division of ManTech International Corporation. The acquisition enhances CounterTack’s position in the EDR market, and will enable CounterTack to deliver truly unprecedented value to its market-leading 200+ customers, by combining real-time operating system-level behavioral threat detection with in-memory threat analysis that maps to the entire cyber kill chain and scales enterprise-wide. ManTech will become an equity investor in CounterTack as well as a global distribution partner.
DigiCert, a global Certificate Authority and leader of trusted identity solutions, acquires the CyberTrust Enterprise SSL business from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition makes DigiCert the second-largest Certificate Authority (CA) for high-assurance SSL certificates.
Digital Guardian, the endpoint security platform purpose built to stop data theft, acquires Savant Protection, a provider of advanced application whitelisting solutions.
Early Warning, a trusted leader in fraud prevention and risk management, acquires Authentify. Founded in 1999, Authentify is a worldwide leader in phone-based, multi-factor authentication solutions. It currently serves more than 1,200 financial institutions and e-commerce companies.
Elbit Systems, an international high technology company which develops and supplies a broad portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial applications, acquires the Cyber and Intelligence division of NICE Systems.
Fidelis Cybersecurity acquires Resolution1 Security. The Resolution1 platform delivers real-time insight and analysis, and automated response and remediation of security incidents, enabling security analysts and operations teams to more rapidly and effectively find and eliminate threats at the endpoint device. Fidelis Cybersecurity is a privately held company backed by Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm with over $3 billion of capital under management.
Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, acquires Meru Networks, a leader in intelligent Wi-Fi networking, for roughly $44 million.
F-Secure acquires nSense – a privately held Danish company providing security consultations, vulnerability assessment services and related products to large enterprises. The acquisition strengthens F-Secure’s position as a prominent security vendor in Europe, and lays a foundation for the company’s growth as a cybersecurity leader in the region. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.