UPDATED 16:36 EDT / AUGUST 02 2021

SECURITY

Ivanti acquires cybersecurity startup RiskSense

Ivanti Inc., a major provider of software for managing information technology infrastructure, today announced that it has acquired venture-backed startup RiskSense Inc. to expand its cybersecurity capabilities.

The deal is the latest in a series of startup acquisitions announced by the company recently. 

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Ivanti counts most of the enterprises on the Fortune 100 list among its customers. The company provides a large array of software products that IT teams use to help them carry out their day-to-day work. Administrators rely on Ivanti’s tools to troubleshoot employee laptops, manage ‘internet of things’ systems and identify unused software subscriptions that should be canceled, to name a few of the tasks Ivanti promises to help with.

The company has also built up a sizable lineup of cybersecurity capabilities. The acquisition of RiskSense will enhance that part of Ivanti’s portfolio.

Sunnyvale, California-based RiskSense provides a cybersecurity platform that can automatically detect if a company’s infrastructure systems or applications contain any known vulnerabilities. Moreover, the platform organizes those vulnerabilities based on severity so administrators can easily determine which issues they should fix first.

In a large company with thousands of servers, applications and other IT assets, it’s often impossible to fix every security flaw. Consequently, administrators must prioritize vulnerabilities and resolve the ones that have the highest chance of leading to a cyberattack. RiskSense’s platform not only organizes issues based on severity but also displays what business units and systems they affect to help administrators more easily prioritize remediation efforts. 

RiskSense offers a second, more specialized product that focuses on detecting vulnerabilities in applications. The tool not only spots and prioritizes security issues according to their severity but can also highlight the specific code components in an application that are affected. This latter feature aims to reduce the amount of time it takes a company’s developers to diagnose issues and create a fix.

Ivanti already uses some of RiskSense’s technology in its Ivanti Neurons for Patch Intelligence product, which helps administrators roll out security updates to applications. Acquiring the startup will enable Ivanti to bring the technology in-house and more closely align future feature development with its own product roadmap. 

“Over the past two years, cyberattacks such as ransomware have crossed the line from being a nuisance to truly disrupting society,” said Srinivas Mukkamala, the Chief Executive Officer of RiskSense. “And unpatched vulnerabilities remain one of the common points of infiltration into organizations’ ecosystems.”

Ivanti’s vision is to provide a set of features that IT teams can use to detect vulnerabilities in systems and then quickly roll out patches to fix them. The faster an organization fixes a vulnerability, the less risk there is of a cyberattack.

“This combination will allow us to provide our customers with a holistic view of vulnerabilities and exposures, and then enable them to take fast action through Ivanti Neurons for Patch Intelligence,” said Ivanti chairman and CEO Jim Schaper.

Earlier this year, Ivanti brought most of the software tools in its portfolio together into a new platform dubbed Ivanti Neurons. The platform includes software bots that enable IT teams to automate certain management tasks such as fixing misconfigured device settings. Ivanti argues that the bots make it possible to fix a number of common technical issues faster while freeing up time for administrators.

RiskSense raised about $24 million in funding prior to the acquisition. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal marks the fourth acquisition for Ivanti since last September: the company previously bought Cherwell Software at the start of the year and, in 2020, purchased cybersecurity providers MobileIron Inc. and Pulse Secure LLC. 

Image: Ivanti

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