At a glance.
- Akamai Technologies acquiring Ondat.
- RangeForce raises $20 million in Series B funding.
- Executive moves.
- Company news.
- Labor markets: a dive into the paradox of layoffs and the cyber workforce shortage.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Akamai Technologies has reached an agreement to acquire UK-headquartered persistent storage provider Ondat. The acquisition will build up cloud computing offerings for Akamai, says Akamai's COO and GM of the company's Cloud Technology Group, Adam Karon, “Storage is a key component of cloud computing and Ondat’s technology will enhance Akamai’s storage capabilities, allowing us to offer a fundamentally different approach to cloud that integrates core and distributed computing sites with a massively scaled edge network.”
Israel and Texas-based cloud security provider Axis Security has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (HPE). Axis Security's Security Services Edge (SSE) platform enables access to corporate and public cloud resources, and "will build on the existing HPE cloud-based security networking company, Aruba, and its Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)," says ERP Today. Phil Mottram, executive vice president and general manager of HPE Aruba Networking, said of the acquisition: “The convergence of Aruba and Axis Security solutions will transform edge-to-cloud connectivity with a comprehensive SASE solution that provides enterprises with the highest levels of security for both IoT devices and all users’ access across geographically distributed locations. Today, we also accelerate our vision to help our customers expand their secure connectivity needs with SASE and private 5G solutions, building on our recently announced agreement to acquire private cellular technology provider, Athonet."
Investments and exits.
RangeForce, a cybersecurity training provider based in Virginia, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. “While the skill shortage plagues cybersecurity, attackers are not letting up. As a result, overloaded cybersecurity teams struggle to build and validate key defensive skills when it matters most: before an attack,” Taavi Must, CEO and Co-Founder of RangeForce, said. “Humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity. By strengthening human defense readiness with RangeForce, organizations reduce their cyber-risk and their human capital spend."
Deep learning cybersecurity provider Deep Instinct has seen an investment from PayPal Ventures this week. The funding from PayPal will help aid in growth for the company across the North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions. Lane Bess, CEO of Deep Instinct, explained, "With the support of our investors, I'm convinced that the future of cybersecurity is on the cusp of a long-awaited change inspiring every enterprise to adopt a prevention-first strategy."
High Wire Networks, a systems integrator and cybersecurity provider based in Illinois, has divested from its legacy staffing business in an $11.5 million transaction. Benefits to the company stemming from the sale include:
- "Eliminates debt payments of $3.9 million on an annualized basis.
- "Reduces fully diluted common shares by 16%.
- "Enables greater focus on faster-growing, higher-margin managed cybersecurity and technology enablement business with backlog and sales pipeline at record levels.
- "Puts company on track for revenue from continuing operations of $43 million - $47 million in 2023, representing growth of 59% - 74% and driving positive operating income, cash flow and adjusted EBITDA."
GraphQL security platform Inigo has raised $4.5 million in seed funding, with investments from Engineering Capital, Hetz Ventures, and NextGen Venture Partners. Engineering and go-to-market initiatives are the priority with this round of funding for the Palo Alto-based company.
Swedish security company Securitas has raised the MEUR 300 equivalent in the international Schuldschein market, the company shares. The funding was said to be oversubscribed by more than three times the amount at launch.
Proficio has hired Jen Ferguson as the company's Vice President of Marketing, and Glenn Williamson as Vice President of Channel Sales.
Cyberstarts has named Emily Heath as a General Partner on the investment team.
Francisco Criado has been appointed Global Channel Chief of Check Point Software Technologies, CRN reports.
Prescient has named Dave Komendat and Mike Howard to the company's Advisory Board.
ExtraHop has welcomed Sylvia Go as the company's Assistant Vice President of Channel for Asia Pacific and Japan.
Silverfort has made five new leadership appointments: Michelle Wideman as the company's Chief Customer Officer, Tarah Cammett as the company's Chief Marketing Officer, Irena Meaden as Chief Financial Officer, Revital Aronis as Vice President of Product Management, and Leslie Bois as the company's Vice President of Global Channels.
Komal Bazaz Smith has been named the Global Cyber Alliance's new Chief Business Officer.
Efraim Harari has been appointed as Chief Legal Officer at Armis.
Baffle has named Sushant Rao as the company's Senior Vice President of Marketing.
Joseph Hoban has joined Sentra's team as Vice President of Sales.
Hewlett Packard's Zerto has named Matt Boris as the company's new Vice President of worldwide Go-to-Market.
Bugcrowd has made four new leadership appointments: Paul Ciesielski as the company's Chief Revenue Officer, Emily Ferdinando as Vice President of Marketing, Mark W. Rossiter as Vice President of Sales-Americas, and Jason Cowie as the company's Vice President of Global Channel Sales & Strategic Alliances.
Auvik has also made four executive movements within their team, naming Bob Feller as Chief Financial Officer, Courtney Harrison as Chief Human Resources Officer, and Siva Ananmalay as Chief Development Officer, while the company's Co-Founder Alex Hoff takes on the position of Chief Strategy Officer.
CybSafe has welcomed Hylton Southey as Vice President of Sales, and Geraint Owen as the company's Vice President of Finance.
Michael Connolly has been appointed Chief Revenue Officer of ThreatX.
Tego Cyber has appointed Melissa Knight as Chief Information Security Officer, and Stephen Semeniw as Vice President of Sales, while former CISO Chris White will sit on the Board of Directors.
DomainTools has named Chad Bacher as the company's new Chief Product Officer.
Conversant Group has made four new leadership appointments: William Cordio as the company's Logistics Captain for the company's Fenix24 Battalion, Gary Schafer as the group's Managing Director, Ed Myruski as the company's Director of Rapid Betterment, and Jeffrey Slapp as Director of Sales Engineering.
Cyber Security Works, an Albuquerque-based cybersecurity provider, is rebranding as Securin Inc, Dark Reading reports. The branding change follows an expansion in the company's offerings, says Ram Movva, Co-Founder and Chairman of Securin, "In the past few years, we have added many new capabilities to our offerings. With the shifting cybersecurity landscape and evolving threats, it is critical to implement tools and solutions that can provide actionable and timely intelligence to prevent cybersecurity breaches before they happen. As we forge ahead, we want to become a tech-enabled solution organization focused on increasing the security posture of our customers through our suite of offerings. We believe Securin, as our overall brand name, embodies our vision to secure organizations to build resilience against emerging threats."
Labor markets: a dive into the paradox of layoffs and the cyber workforce shortage.
We've been regularly tracking the layoffs and greater cyber and tech labor markets every week. Big tech companies have been seeing layoffs left and right, at places like Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta (who continues to see layoffs, even into today). Cybersecurity companies, like Zscaler, Sophos, Okta, and Secureworks, are seeing layoffs themselves, but the news keeps discussing a consistent shortage in cybersecurity professionals. What could be behind this paradox?
Clearance Jobs in late January discussed one possible perspective on the cybersecurity and greater big tech labor markets, saying that while big tech layoffs may still continue, the layoffs are more a result of overspending and overhiring at companies over the course of the pandemic by executives. As of the time of the article, there were 530,000 cybersecurity job listings in the United States alone, with a worldwide shortage of upwards of three or four million workers. Dice added in early February that the addition of almost 500,000 employees did not even make a dent in the cyber workforce shortage; rather, the gap continues to grow, with a 26.2% year-over-year increase observed. Forbes emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity teams, which may be keeping the industry more safe from layoffs as well, citing a global survey of CISOs from Heidrick, that shared that over half of the CISOs surveyed were experiencing burnout, with 60% feeling job-related stress. Ger Doyle, a Senior Vice President at Experis, noted that the future may be looking up, highlighting the drop in tech unemployment from 1.8% to 1.5% in January of this year, citing only problems with lack of talent that is qualified to work in the field.