HPE acquires Niara to boost its network security portfolio

Antonio Neri - HPE Discover 2015 London

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. is fortifying its software-defined information technology infrastructure with the acquisition of security analytics firm Niara Inc. for an undisclosed fee.

HPE described Niara as a leader in the emerging market segment known as “user and entity behavior analytics” — in plain English, analyzing user behavior to find anomalies that may indicate a security issue. Niara emerged from stealth back in summer of 2015, touting its ability to use big data analytics to bolster organization’s network security. The company’s behavioral analytics software works by automating the detection of attacks and risky behavior inside organizations, reducing the time it takes to identify and respond to such events.

HPE said the company’s product would be integrated with its Aruba ClearPass security portfolio for networking infrastructure. “Combining Niara’s next-generation behavior analytics software with Aruba’s ClearPass network security portfolio will deliver the industry’s most complete visibility and attack detection system,” Keerti Melkote, senior vice president and general manager of Aruba Networks, a subsidiary of HPE, wrote in a blog post.

That HPE swooped to buy Niara probably isn’t much of a surprise. The company’s cofounders – Chief Executive Sriram Ramachandran and Vice President of Engineering Prasad Palkar – are both ex-Aruba employees. Interestingly, the deal comes just a day after longtime Aruba President Dominic Orr officially quit his post after more than a decade at the helm. Orr announced his retirement earlier this month, almost two years after HPE acquired Aruba for $3 billion.

“This acquisition can help HPE better secure the edge and can lead to not only a more secure enterprise, but can help future edge compute scenarios,” Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told SiliconANGLE. “What I like about Niara is the way they use AI to determine threats based on usage patterns of user data. This is cutting-edge technology.”

HPE has seen strong growth in its networking sales ever since that acquisition, and the integration of Niara’s security analytics software should provide a further boost its efforts to enable and secure software-defined infrastructure. The deal represents HPE’s third acquisition already in 2017, following its $650 million swoop to acquire SimpliVity Corp. on Jan. 17, and its agreement to buy cloud analytics firm Cloud Cruiser Inc. on Jan. 23.

“I am pleased with the progress we’ve made in identifying the right assets to deliver on our long-term business strategy,” Antonio Neri (pictured), executive vice president and general manager of HPE’s Enterprise Group wrote in a second blog post.

Image courtesy of HPE, via Facebook