At a glance.
- Palo Alto will acquire CloudGenix.
- MiningLamp raises $300 million in Series E round.
- HackerOne boots Voatz from its platform.
- The Internet is operating as normal, despite increased traffic.
- Microsoft won't invest in any more third-party facial recognition firms.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Palo Alto Networks will acquire San Jose, California-based software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) company CloudGenix for approximately $420 million. Palo Alto Networks stated, "With the proposed acquisition, Palo Alto Networks will integrate CloudGenix's cloud-managed SD-WAN products to accelerate the intelligent onboarding of remote branches and retail stores into Prisma Access. This combination will extend the breadth of the Prisma Access SASE platform, address network and security transformation requirements, and accelerate the shift from SD-WAN to SASE."
Canadian IT consulting company CGI Federal is acquiring Reston, Virginia-based IT consultancy TeraThink. TeraThink will work with CGI's wholly-owned US operating subsidiary, CGI Federal, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia. The company's press release states, "This merger will strengthen CGI Federal’s consulting expertise, and expand its enterprise application development and management services. Combining TeraThink’s agile enablement, application development, and data analytics capabilities with CGI’s Federal’s breadth of IT services will enhance offerings available to federal agencies. This merger will significantly increase the scale of enterprise applications support CGI Federal provides to all three branches of government."
Egypt-based cybersecurity consulting company SecureMisr has been acquired by Texas-based SOC-as-a-service company Cysiv, SME10X reports. Cysiv was spun out of Trend Micro in 2018. Cysiv’s VP for International Business Development, Moataz El Sayed, stated "This acquisition gives us a team of highly regarded experts with complementary skills, and well-established customer relationships that together will help launch us in the Middle East & North Africa region. With Egypt's strong computer science and engineering university programs, Cysiv also gains access to a deep pool of highly capable cyber security talent that can support long-term, sustainable growth, and help enable us to more effectively scale our operations to support broader demand."
The pandemic emergency has called a stop to at least one major acquisition bid: the Wall Street Journal reports that Xerox has given up its attempted purchase of HP, for the duration at least, and quite possibly for good. The hostile takeover involved both a $30 billion tender offer and a proxy fight. It is, the Journal observes, a cautionary tale of the effect the pandemic is having on large-scale M&A activity.
Investments and exits.
Chinese big data analytics company MiningLamp has raised US$300 million in a Series E funding round led by Tencent Holdings and the Government of Singapore's Temasek Holdings, the South China Morning Post reports. MiningLamp's founder and CEO Wu Minghui stated, "With the capital injection, MiningLamp can speed up our efforts to empower our clients to digitise, helping them successfully transform at a time full of uncertainty." The South China Morning Post notes that MiningLamp is seen as China's equivalent of the United States's Palantir.
New York-based cybersecurity asset management company Axonius has raised $58 million in a Series C round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors OpenView, Bessemer Venture Partners, YL Ventures, Vertex, and Western Technology Investment. Axonius plans to use the funding "to scale company growth and expand its cybersecurity asset management platform offerings to meet surging market demand."
London-headquartered log management platform provider Humio received $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from existing investor Accel. The company said the funding "will be used to increase the company’s capabilities to keep pace with demand across global markets, and expand the development of its self-hosted and SaaS products."
Germany-headquartered privacy and compliance platform provider DataGuard secured $20 million in a Series A round led by One Peak, TechCrunch reports. TechCrunch quotes DataGuard's co-founder Kivanc Semen as saying, "We will use the funding to deliver on our product roadmap. We will achieve this in two ways: By increasing automation levels through improvements of the machine learning capabilities in our privacy software suite and by speeding up our development of new product categories."
Santa Clara, California-based XDR (detection and response) platform provider Stellar Cyber added an additional $7.1 million to its Series A round, bringing the round's total to $21.8 million. The new funding comes from Susquehanna International Group, while the previous funding came from Valley Capital Partners, Big Basin Ventures, and Northern Light Venture Capital. Stellar Cyber says it "will use the additional funding to expand research and development, sales, marketing, partnerships and build scale into its global delivery capabilities."
Maryland-headquartered rouge device mitigation company Sepio Systems has added another $4 million to the $6.5 million Series A funding it received in November 2019. The latest funding was provided by Munich Re Ventures and Hanaco Ventures. Sepio Systems says the funding will be used to "accelerate the company’s innovation and expand into new regions of the globe."
Ordr has appointed Jeff Horne as Chief Security Officer, Danelle Au as Chief Marketing Officer, and Ratnesh Saxena as VP of Product Management. Horne previously served as CIO and CISO at Blacklined, Au was previously CMO at Blue Hexagon, and Saxena was most recently Senior Director of Product Management at McAfee.
Cisco has hired Elisabeth De Dobbeleer as leader of its Partner Organisation for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR). De Dobbeleer was previously Cisco’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for EMEAR.
Forcepoint has hired Nick Savvides as its Senior Director of Strategic Business in Asia-Pacific, CRN reports. Savvides previously worked at Symantec for fourteen years, where he most recently served as Chief Technology Officer for the Asia-Pacific.
ForgeRock has appointed Renee Beckloff as VP of Cloud Success and Sudhakar Peddibhotla as VP of Engineering for Autonomous Identity. Beckloff was previously Head of Global Enablement at Vectra AI, while Peddibhotla most recently worked as Head of Enterprise Identity Products at Oracle.
Security companies in the news.
HackerOne has expelled mobile voting company Voatz from its bug bounty platform over Voatz's allegedly hostile treatment of security researchers, CyberScoop reports. Voatz told CyberScoop that HackerOne's decision was due to a "small group of researchers who, along with a few other members of the community, believe Voatz reported a researcher to the FBI." Voatz denies this, but Cointelegraph explains that, "In fact, Voatz reported the student to the jurisdiction which then reported it to the FBI." A HackerOne spokesperson told CyberScoop, "After evaluating Voatz's pattern of interactions with the research community, we decided to terminate the program on the HackerOne platform. We partner with organizations that prioritize acting in good faith towards the security researcher community and providing adequate access to researchers for testing." CyberScoop notes that this is the first time HackerOne has ever kicked a vendor off its platform.
The Verge reports that Comcast and AT&T have both seen expected spikes in network traffic as people transition to working from home. Comcast says VoIP and video conferencing traffic is up 212%, while VPN traffic has risen by 40%. AT&T noted today that "audio/video conferencing minutes of use have increased significantly from 6M on an average day to 16M one day last week." Both companies say their networks are doing a good job of handling the increased traffic.
Microsoft's venture fund M12 announced that it won't invest in any more third-party facial recognition companies after it was criticized for funding Israeli startup AnyVision, according to the Verge. NBC News reported in October that AnyVision was using its technology to surveil Palestinians living in the West Bank. Microsoft said on Friday that an independent audit found that "AnyVision’s technology has not previously and does not currently power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank that has been alleged in media reports." However, Microsoft added that it will divest from AnyVision, stating that "the audit process reinforced the challenges of being a minority investor in a company that sells sensitive technology, since such investments do not generally allow for the level of oversight or control that Microsoft exercises over the use of its own technology. By making a global change to its investment policies to end minority investments in companies that sell facial recognition technology, Microsoft’s focus has shifted to commercial relationships that afford Microsoft greater oversight and control over the use of sensitive technologies."