UPDATED 20:35 EST / NOVEMBER 05 2019


Proofpoint acquires threat management provider ObserveIT for $225M

Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint Inc. today said it has acquired threat management provider ObserveIT Ltd. for $225 million in an all-cash deal.

Founded in 2006, ObserveIT helps organizations identify and eliminate insider threats. The data loss prevention or DLP company does so through a combination of endpoint security and data risk analytics designed to allow security teams to detect insider threats, streamline investigation processes and prevent data exfiltration.

For Proofpoint, ObserveIT will extend its data loss prevention capabilities with endpoint protection joining email, cloud access security brokerage and data-at-rest for an enhanced service.

“More and more users are accessing corporate data from endpoint off the corporate network in both sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud apps,” Ryan Kalember, Proofpoint’s executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy, wrote in a blog post. “In order to stay protected in an increasingly remote, cloud-based world, organizations must ensure they have the most effective people-centric security controls in place to understand how, when, and where users interact with critical data and IP.”

The deal was welcomed by others in the industry. Nir Polak, chief executive officer of security management platform provider Exabeam Inc., told SiliconANGLE that the acquisition is “great” for the industry.

“DLP and insider threats go hand in hand,” Polak explained. “This acquisition shines a light on the fight modern enterprises and government organizations are facing against insider threats. The challenge is finding solutions that protect company networks in the face of flexible working environments, remote employees and increased competition.”

He pointed out that malicious insiders include employees that deliberately steal code and infect a machine with malware against a company’s system, exploit a vulnerability for their own personal gain or even download and share intellectual property with competitors for profit. “Accidental insider threats include employees who were compromised by a digital adversary unknowingly, granting these outsiders access to the company network,” he said.

Polak added that insider threat management tools paired with user and entity behavior analytics can halt insider threats in their tracks. “Working together, these solutions can baseline users’ behavior on the network and track their connected movements,” he said. “As soon as an anomalous activity — such as sensitive data being sent to an unusual IP address or an employee accessing a confidential database they don’t have permission to — is spotted, alerts can be prioritized for the security teams and remediation actions can be taken.”

ObserveIT had raised $53 million in venture capital. Investors included Bain Capital, MDI Ventures and NightDragon Security. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter.

Image: ObserveIT

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