Mergers and acquisitions.
McAfee is one of several security companies interested in a merger with Symantec's former consumer software business NortonLifeLock, according to the Wall Street Journal. Eric Parizo, a senior analyst with Ovum, told Channel Futures he believes it's likely that NortonLifeLock will be acquired by someone sometime soon, since Symantec's entire company was up for sale and only its enterprise side was purchased by Broadcom. Parizo believes ESET or Sophos might be a better fit for NortonLifeLock, however.
New York-based data analytics and intelligence company Verint plans to split itself into two independent companies at the beginning of 2021, Intelligence Community News reports. One company will handle Verint's customer engagement business, while the other will focus on its cyber intelligence business.
Investments and exits.
VentureBeat reports that Santa Clara, California-based network-level cybersecurity company Ordr has raised $27.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Battery Ventures, with participation from existing investors Wing Venture Capital, Ten Eleven Ventures, and Unusual Ventures.
Irish cybersecurity automation startup Tines has raised an additional $11 million, bringing the total amount raised in its Series A round to $15.1 million, according to VentureBeat. The added funding comes from Accel, with participation from Index Ventures and Blossom Capital.
Third-party cyber risk management company CyberGRX has closed a $40 Million Series D round led by ICONIQ Capital, with participation from AllegisCyber, Bessemer Venture Partners, The Blackstone Group, ClearSky, GV (the venture capital arm of Alphabet), MassMutual Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Ten Eleven Ventures.
Michigan-based managed security services provider Nuspire has hired Lewie Dunsworth as its new CEO, while its previous CEO, Saylor Frase, takes on the role of chairman of the board according to MITechNews.
Cisco's senior vice president of global data center sales Frank Palumbo is leaving the company after twenty-seven years to take a position as chief revenue officer at Pensando Systems, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports. Also leaving is Cisco’s senior vice president of customer transformation Guillermo Diaz Jr., who has worked with the company for nineteen years. Diaz will announce his new job after his last day at Cisco.
Sundar Pichai, now CEO of both Alphabet and Google, announced that Frances Arnold is joining Alphabet's board of directors, CNET reports. Arnold is a chemical engineer at the California Institute of Technology, and she won last year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Security companies in the news.
Avast's CEO Ondrej Vlcek assured Forbes that the user data it collects and sells are anonymized and can't be used for individually targeted advertising. Vlcek says 5% of the company's overall revenue comes from selling this data. Forbes notes that 5% of Avast's revenue would be more than $20 million this year. Wladimir Palant, creator of Adblock Plus, at the end of October called Avast's browser extensions "spyware" based on the information they collect, which led Mozilla and Opera to remove these extensions from their add-on stores.
VPN provider NordVPN has launched a bug bounty program through HackerOne, ZDNet reports.
ARM's Chinese subsidiary ARM China will develop chips with cryptography that is approved by the Chinese state, Tom's Hardware notes. These chips are designed for sale in the domestic as well as the international market, which will likely prompt a response from the US government.
Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel stated that Google's decision to pull out of Project Maven "tells us that AI is a military technology, or at least it’s a dual-use technology," FedScoop reports. Palantir took over the project after Google backed out. Thiel continued, saying that AI technologies "are dual-use and we better make sure we get the cutting-edge ones on our side."
An opinion piece in SC Magazine asserts that new job titles like cyber city analyst, cyber-calamity forecaster, cyber-attack agent, and juvenile cyber-crime rehabilitation counselor will become increasingly common with the increased application of AI and IoT technologies.