Top cybersecurity M&A deals for 2021

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

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2021 is shaping up to be an active year for mergers and acquisitions in the cybersecurity industry. March alone saw more than 40 firms being acquired. The level of activity is driven by growth in sectors such as identity management, zero trust, managed security services, DevSecOps and cloud security.

In many cases, the acquiring company sought to strengthen its position in its market—Okta’s purchase of Auth0, for example. In others, the acquisition was an entry into a new market; Lookout is now a player in the secure access service edge (SASE) market with the acquisition of CipherCloud. Some used the newly acquired company to expand product capabilities, like Palo Alto Networks boosting its Prisma Cloud platform with cloud security technology from Bridgecrew.

Below are the deals that CSO has selected as the most significant of the year. (This list is updated periodically as new deals are announced.)

Microsoft acquires CIEM provider CloudKnox Security

July 21: Microsoft has enhanced its cloud security offerings with the acquisition of CloudKnox Security, a cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) provider. This is Microsoft's second security acquisition this month (see below). With CloudKnox's technology, Microsoft will be able to offer more visibility into privileged access, allowing for better enforcement of least-privilege principles. "The acquisition of CloudKnox further enables Microsoft Azure Active Directory customers with granular visibility, continuous monitoring and automated remediation for hybrid and multi-cloud permissions. We are committed to providing our customers with unified privileged access management, identity governance and entitlement management," said Joy Chik, corporate vice president Microsoft Identity, in a blog post. Transaction terms were not released.

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