Mergers and acquisitions.
London-based insurance and professional services firm Aon has acquired Canadian cybersecurity consulting company Cytelligence Inc. for an undisclosed amount. J Hogg, CEO of Aon's Cyber Solutions, stated that "The Cytelligence team are deep experts in cyber incident response, ransomware mitigation, and cyber security training for employees, which will help cement our position in both North America and globally as an industry leader."
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has purchased San Francisco-based cloud-native identity management startup Scytale for an undisclosed amount, ARN reports. HPE says the acquisition will assist in the company's "plans to deliver a dynamic, open, and secure edge-to-cloud platform."
Raytheon has bought out Vista Equity Partners's minority stake in their joint venture Forcepoint for $588 million, GovCon Wire writes. The Wall Street Journal sees this as possibly indicating that Raytheon plans to sell the cybersecurity company.
Investments and exits.
San Jose, California-based startup Concentric emerged from stealth with $7.5 million in funding from Clear Ventures, Engineering Capital, Homebrew, and Core Ventures. Concentric uses deep learning to identify organizations' data in order to track down and secure sensitive documents. Clear Ventures's founder and managing partner Chris Rust stated that "Unstructured data is now the industry’s primary threat surface because it’s highly dispersed and comes in all forms, and it’s tough to protect business-critical content. Concentric solves this problem with fundamentally new, autonomous capabilities that find, monitor, and secure an enterprise’s most valuable assets."
IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty is stepping down in April after eight years at the company's helm, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rometty will also retire as IBM's board chairman at the end of the year. Arvind Krishna will take over as the company's CEO, and Jim Whitehurst (currently CEO of Red Hat) will become IBM's president.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is stepping down in June after eleven years and will become LinkedIn's executive chairman, WIRED reports. Ryan Roslansky, currently the company's senior vice president of product, will take over as CEO.
The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) has added Susan M. Gordon as a senior intelligence adviser, according to Homeland Security Today. Gordon served as the US Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence between 2017 and 2019.
The Guardian reports that Juliette Kayyem, a former US Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs under the Obama administration, has stepped down from her role as a senior adviser for the controversial spyware vendor NSO Group. The news comes a day after Harvard canceled a webinar on female journalist safety, which Kayyem was going to host. The Guardian says the webinar's organizers weren't aware of Kayyem's role at NSO until the event was criticized by press freedom groups.
ManTech International has appointed Kemp Ensor as vice president and deputy manager of its security solutions business unit within the mission, cyber, and intelligence solutions group, Washington Technology reports. Ensor was previously director of security and counterintelligence for the NSA, a position he held for eighteen years.
Bricata has appointed John Becker as executive chair of its board of directors. Becker has previously served as CEO for Sourcefire, ScienceLogic, Approva Corporation, Arbor Networks, Cybertrust, TruSecure, and AXENT Technologies.
CRN reports that several top executives are leaving VMware, including global chief customer officer Scott Bajtos, senior director of global services strategy Alexa Erjavic, vice president of operations and customer intelligence Mark Ritacco, and vice president of customer advocacy Kate Woodcock. The company told CRN that the layoffs are "part of regular workforce rebalancing that ensures resources across VMware’s global businesses and geographies are aligned with strategic objectives and customer needs."
Security companies in the news.
Following revelations from Motherboard and PCMag that antivirus company Avast was selling large quantities of anonymized user browsing data through its Jumpshot subsidiary, Avast's CEO Ondrej Vlcek announced this past Thursday that he and Avast's board of directors "have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect." Motherboard notes that Avast has confirmed it will buy back the thirty-five percent stake in Jumpshot that it had sold to London-based B2B media firm Ascential in July 2019. At the time of its sale, that stake was valued at $60.76 million.
NBC News observes that new privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and GDPR have resulted in a high demand for privacy technology, and new companies are springing up to meet the demand. Citing a list of hundreds of privacy companies compiled by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, NBC notes that the number of enterprise privacy startups has increased fivefold in the past three years. These companies specialize in a range of services including data flow mapping, data discovery and management, data breach incident response, pseudonymity, consent management, access monitoring, and website scanning to identify trackers. NBC quotes Alastair Mactaggart, head of Californians for Consumer Privacy, as saying, "We’ve just created a privacy industry."
The Telegraph says Memento Labs, the spyware vendor that absorbed the remnants of Hacking Team in April 2019, is being restructured to address the fact that a mysterious company associated with the Saudi Arabian government owns a twenty percent stake in Hacking Team (as reported by Motherboard in 2018). It's not clear what exactly the restructuring will entail, but the Telegraph says Memento's Swiss-Italian parent company InTheCyber aims "to distance itself from the Gulf kingdom."
Reuters reports that Vodafone will remove Huawei's equipment from the core parts of its networks in Europe. Vodafone's CEO Nick Read stated on Wednesday that "We have now decided as a result of the EU toolbox and the UK government’s decision to take out Huawei from the core....This will take around five years to implement at a cost of approximately 200 million euros."
Where business is done.
The New York City Mayor’s Office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have launched a $100 million partnership with Israeli startup incubator firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) as part of NYCEDC's Cyber NYC program, the Times of Israel reports. The Jerusalem Post says JVP established its 2,450-square-meter International NYC Cyber Center on Grand Street in SoHo, Manhattan on Monday.