At a glance.
- M&A activity continues.
- Cyber startups attract investors.
- Executives on the move.
- Cybereason sues its former Director of Product Management.
- ICANN vetoes $1.1 billion deal to sell the .org registry.
- VMware confirms salary freeze.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Virginia-based US government IT contractor Perspecta has acquired New Jersey-based electronic warfare (EW) prototyping firm DHPC Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Perspecta says the acquisition "further enhances its ability to support its customers with robust, comprehensive, full life cycle EW capabilities in design, prototyping, deployment, integration, and testing across multiple domains, including manned and unmanned air, ground, and missiles. The transaction also allows Perspecta to comprehensively address the emerging area of cybersecurity/EW convergence."
Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity synchronization company Orchestra Group has acquired Haifa-based automated penetration testing startup Cronus for an undisclosed amount, according to Globes. Cronus's technology will be added to Orchestra's platform. Orchestra's CEO stated, "We plan to invest in and to significantly improve Cronus' interesting developments. The acquisition of Cronus together with the excellent team of employees, who are joining us, will assist us in future developments for synchronized and proactive cyber defense."
Mountain View, California-headquartered mobile security software company MobileIron has acquired Germany-based app release automation company incapptic Connect for $6 million. MobileIron explains that "[t]ogether, MobileIron and incapptic Connect support an automated app distribution model. incapptic Connect software automatically validates that an app meets the necessary requirements for publishing to either a public or in-house app store. incapptic Connect then automates the publishing process. Once the app is published, MobileIron UEM automatically distributes it to managed devices and updates it to ensure that users are always operating on the most secure and up to date version."
Accenture has completed its purchase of Symantec's Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom.
Investments and exits.
Israeli cloud security company Orca Security has raised $20.5 million in a Series A round led by GGV Capital, with participation from YL Ventures and Silicon Valley CISO Investments (SVCI). Orca's CEO Avi Shua told Crunchbase News that the company "will use a majority of the funding to recruit the right people and get the word out as much as possible." The company currently has thirty-seven employees, and Shua plans to increase that number to around fifty by the end of 2020.
Tel Aviv-based passwordless authentication provider Secret Double Octopus has secured $15 million in Series B funding from new investors Sony Financial Ventures, KDDI, and Global Brain, as well as existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners, Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV), Liberty Media, Iris Capital, and Yaniv Tal. FinSMEs says the company will use the money to expand its business operations, and SiliconANGLE reports that the funding will enable the company "to strengthen remote and on-site workforce security, which in turn will reduce help desk costs and minimize information technology operations."
Texas-based physical threat detection platform provider Ontic has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from existing investors Silverton Partners, Floodgate, and Village Global. Ontic will use the new funding "to fuel the expansion of Ontic's footprint across enterprise businesses and family offices while accelerating product development and expanding sales to enter new markets."
New York-based healthcare data sharing company Particle Health has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from existing investors Collaborative Fund, Story Ventures, and Company Ventures, Crunchbase News reports. Particle Health's CEO Troy Bannister stated in a blog post, "With our Series A fundraise behind us, we now have the fuel to build a bigger team of rockstars, partner with more data sources — like claims, lab and provider data — and to build the best in class developer experience possible. We’re moving towards HITRUST certification, we’re rolling out data transformation pipelines and we’re beginning work on SDKs and Data Products that make our data actionable and easy to implement."
Florida-headquartered BlackCloak, a company that provides cybersecurity for high-profile individuals and executives, has raised $1.9 million from Maryland-based DataTribe. The company will use the funding " to strengthen its concierge cybersecurity platform and expand its presence within key sectors where cybercrime losses and intellectual theft continue to be on the rise."
Tony Close has left his role as director of content standards for the UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom) to take a position at Facebook, The Times reports. He'll serve as the social media company's director of content regulation beginning in August, and has been placed on gardening leave until then. The Times notes that Close was deeply involved in drafting Ofcom's proposed regulations for social media companies. MP Damian Collins, a frequent critic of Facebook, told NS Tech that he believes "there should be a cooling off period before people are allowed to leave Ofcom or government departments to take up roles like this."
Claims Journal reports that Goldman Sachs's CISO Andy Ozment is leaving Goldman to take a position as head of technology risk for Capital One, where he'll help the company recover from the massive data breach it suffered in July 2020.
Plurilock has appointed Ed Hammersla to its board of directors. Hammersla has previously held roles at Trusted Computer Solutions, Forcepoint, Raytheon Cyber Products, IBM, NEC, Informix Federal, and Sterling Software.
Benchmark Executive Search has named Sue Gordon and Constantine M. Saab to its National Security and Cyber Advisory Board. Gordon is the former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, while Saab is the former Chief Strategy Officer for the CIA.
Security companies in the news.
Cybereason is suing its former Director of Product Management Jonathan Joseph Shelmerdine for allegedly taking corporate documents off his company laptop before he left Cybereason for a new "senior product management job" at SentinelOne, CRN reports. Cybereason also sued Shelmerdine last month in an attempt to block him from taking a job at SentinelOne, which the company names as one of its primary industry competitors. Cybereason is particularly concerned about Shelmerdine's knowledge of the company's new technology, which is slated to launch sometime next year. Cybereason stated in its filing that "[i]n the six months prior to his resignation, Shelmerdine was deeply involved in leading the project, and he is intimately familiar with the project’s every detail." The filing also states that "[g]iven Shelmerdine’s intimate knowledge of Cybereason's products, strategies, strengths, roadmap, and weaknesses, and his apparent retention of proprietary Cybereason documents and information, his departure for a competitor in violation of his employment agreement poses a grave risk to Cybereason's future."
ICANN, the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, has rejected a $1.1 billion deal to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR)—the not-for-profit organization that controls the ".org" generic top-level domain—to Ethos Capital, a for-profit investment firm. ICANN stated that a "change from the fundamental public interest nature of PIR to an entity that is bound to serve the interests of its corporate stakeholders, and which has no meaningful plan to protect or serve the .ORG community." ICANN also cited uncertainties arising from the deal, particularly the fact that PIR would be placed $360 million in debt to its buyer. Ethos Capital criticized ICANN's decision, saying the organization "has empowered itself to extend its authority into areas that fall well outside of its legal mandate in acting as a regulatory body."
VMware has implemented an employee salary freeze due to economic uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CRN reports. The company told CRN, " We can confirm that there have been a number of cost management changes impacting the VMware workforce. This is a part of a thoughtful and prudent plan designed to address the current uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall economic outlook, while ensuring the company has the skills and talent needed to accelerate growth as the economy stabilizes." Additionally, VMware's CEO and other executive board members are taking salary reductions through the company's fiscal third quarter.