UPDATED 08:15 EDT / FEBRUARY 16 2021


Palo Alto Networks buys Bridgecrew to boost its Prisma Cloud security platform

Network security firm Palo Alto Networks Inc. today announced it’s acquiring Israeli cloud security firm Bridgecrew for $156 million in cash.

The acquisition, announced this morning, is the seventh by Palo Alto Networks of a company based in Israel, long a hotbed of cybersecurity firms.

The acquiring company said the deal will enable security to be built into products earlier, in particular enabling Palo Alto’s Prisma Cloud to become what it calls the first cloud security platform covering the entire application lifecycle, from building the software to running it.

Bridgecrew helped pioneer the notion of “shift left,” in which developers and DevOps teams enforce infrastructure security standards throughout application development. It also focuses on “infrastructure as code,” in which infrastructure configuration is set during application development.

“Shift left is a must-have in any cloud security platform,” Palo Alto Networks Chief Executive Nikesh Arora said in a statement. When the two companies are combined, he added, “Prisma Cloud customers will benefit from having security embedded in the very foundation of their cloud infrastructure.”

Bridgecrew’s open-source infrastructure-as-code scanner, called Checkov, had more than 1 million downloads in 2020, its first full year of availability.

According to Calcalist in Israel, the company had raised $18 million, including a Series A round of $14 million last April, so its backers will get a healthy nine to 10 times their investment. Early investors included Battery Ventures, DNX Ventures, Homeward Ventures, NFX, Tectonic Ventures and Sorensen Ventures.

Palo Alto Networks also announced a product update today for remote workers that brings stronger security and better management and performance features to its Prisma Access platform.

Prisma Access is a “secure access service edge” or SASE platform that enables users to access the internet and cloud and data center-based apps safely from any location. It’s essentially a firewall-as-a-service that provides a secure network for all of a company’s applications. It works by combining threat intelligence with ongoing inspection of network traffic to protect against cyberattacks.

Today’s update, Prisma Access 2.0, adds what the Palo Alto Networks calls “machine learning-powered security.” The platform now uses machine learning algorithms to help prevent against any attacks in real-time and to automate policy recommendations, the company said.

The new release also adds Autonomous Digital Experience Management, which gives organizations greater operational monitoring and visibility, including the ability to see the health of their access infrastructure, mobile users and branch connections.

Other new features include a new cloud secure web gateway with explicit proxy that makes it easier for customers to migrate from their legacy-based networks to Palo Alto’s cloud-based network tools. In addition, Prisma Access gains a cloud-based unified management experience that helps to streamline configuration, reporting and digital experience monitoring, the company said. Lastly, there are some new “internet of things” security capabilities that help to protect IoT devices.

With today’s updates, Palo Alto said, Prisma Access ranks as the most complete and optimal platform for securing remote workers.

“With remote work becoming a critical long term plan for many organizations, best-in-class security, secure access to all apps and an optimized user experience has become a business necessity,” said Anand Oswal, senior vice president and general manager of Firewall as a Platform at Palo Alto Networks. “To achieve this, organizations have to rethink their network security architecture and that is exactly what Prisma Access 2.0 was built for.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: arthur_bowers/pixabay

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