Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Cloud Security , Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP)

New Year Kicks Off With Vendor Consolidation

5 Data Security Firms Announce Acquisitions
New Year Kicks Off With Vendor Consolidation

The new year has kicked off with a flurry of data security company acquisition activity; five deals have already been announced. Companies making acquisitions are striving to improve their secure access service edge – or SASE - posture, enter new markets or bolster their technology portfolios.

See Also: Top 10 DSPM Requirements: Data Security Challenges in the Cloud Era

The deals include private equity firm Francisco Partners finalizing its deal to acquire Forcepoint, F5 announcing plans to purchase Volterra, Equifax revealing the pending purchase of the artificial intelligence firm Kount, Accenture picking up the managed security and cyber defense services company Real Protect, and Huntress acquiring endpoint detection and response technology from Level Effect.

Forcepoint Acquired

Francisco Partners has closed the deal, first announced in October 2020, to acquire the cybersecurity firm Forcepoint from Raytheon Technologies for an undisclosed sum. The private equity firm plans to expand Forcepoint's SASE offerings.

Manny Rivelo, a senior operating partner at Francisco Partners, will immediately take over as Forcepoint’s CEO, replacing Matt Moynahan, who had led the company since 2016.

"As CEO, Rivelo will focus the company's strategy on accelerating enterprise and government agency adoption of a modern approach to security that embraces the emerging Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture," Francisco Partners says.

F5 Acquires Volterra

The security company F5 late last week reported it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the universal edge-as-a-service-platform developer Volterra for $500 million. The deal has gained the approval of each company's board and is expected to close later this year.

F5 says it will integrate Volterra' universal edge-as-a-platform into an edge platform it is developing for enterprise and service providers.

"With Volterra, we advance our adaptive applications vision with an Edge 2.0 platform that solves the complex multi-cloud reality enterprise customers confront," says François Locoh-Donou, F5's president and CEO.

Sandy Carielli, principal analyst at Forrester Research, says the F5 deal isn’t surprising because other web application firewall and bot management vendors are also investing in API security.

By buying Volterra, F5 can flesh out its application security portfolio with a focus on application security services for multi-cloud and at the edge, Carielli says.

"Their API security offering hits a big challenge of modern application development - APIs create new business opportunities but are difficult to secure. Volterra focuses on API discovery, baselining API usage, protecting against data leakage and applying consistent policy," Carielli says.

Equifax to Buy Kount

On Friday, Equifax announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire AI firm Kount for $640 million, with the deal expected to close soon. Equifax intends to use Kount's technology to help organizations fight online fraud while reducing customer friction.

"As digital migration accelerates, managing authentication and online fraud while optimizing the consumer's experience has become one of our customers' top challenges, says Mark Begor, CEO of Equifax.

Accenture Acquires Real Protect

On Monday, Accenture announced it had acquired the Brazilian managed security and cyber defense services firm Real Protect. The deal's financial details were not released, but Accenture says Real Protect will help it make inroads in the Brazilian market.

"According to Accenture's research, Brazil continues to be a hot spot for cybercrime, which we estimate could cost companies more than $100 billion in lost revenue by 2023," says Kelly Bissell, who leads Accenture Security.

Real Protect's 90 employees will be absorbed into Accenture's global workforce, which totals nearly 7,000.

Huntress Acquires Level Effect

Huntress expanded its portfolio by acquiring endpoint detection and response technology from the San Antonio-based startup Level Effect.

While Huntress has acquired the Recon technology and related IP portfolio, Level Effect will continue to operate as an independent business, providing cyber training services to aspiring security practitioners, Huntress says.

Level Effect's co-founders, Greg Ake and Robert Noeth, will join the Huntress team to support the initial integration and ongoing development of the Recon software, Huntress says.

Financial details of the deal were not released.

About the Author

Doug Olenick

Doug Olenick

Former News Editor, ISMG

Olenick has covered the cybersecurity and computer technology sectors for more than 25 years. Prior to his stint as ISMG as news editor, Olenick was online editor for SC Media, where he covered every aspect of the cybersecurity industry and managed the brand's online presence. Earlier, he worked at TWICE - This Week in Consumer Electronics - for 15 years. He also has contributed to, TheStreet and Mainstreet.

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