Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW), an enterprise security company that aims to prevent cyber breaches for tens of thousands of organizations worldwide, has agreed to acquire venture capital-backed Evident.io, a cybersecurity monitoring company, for $300 million.

Risk has been a top concern of IT teams, as their companies rapidly adopt public cloud applications for new and enhanced services, according to Palo Alto Networks. Legacy cybersecurity tools are designed for traditional data centers, so they don’t work well with public cloud applications.

Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin says the acquisition strengthens the buyer's cybersecurity offerings for cloud systems. “We believe enterprises will become even more cloud-centric in the future and require prevention methods that have been designed for the cloud,” McLaughlin says. “With Evident as part of our platform, Palo Alto Networks will be the only vendor that can deliver a holistic cloud offering to address the critical security needs of today's enterprise customers as they journey to the cloud.”

Products offered by Palo Alto Networks, based in Santa Clara, California, include: VM-Series firewalls, Traps malware protection, Panorama network security management and automated protection for SaaS applications.

Evident.io, headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, True Ventures, Venrock and Google Ventures. Evident.io offers its Evident Security Platform to help customers manage cloud security risk from a dashboard.

When Evident.io is integrated with the Palo Alto Networks cloud security offering, customers will have a single approach to continuous monitoring, storage security, and compliance validation and reporting, according to Palo Alto. That will help customers deploy new cloud applications faster, simplify their security operations and continuously validate compliance of their cloud deployments. The all-cash deal is expected to close by April 30, and Evident.io co-founders Tim Prendergast and Justin Lundy will join Palo Alto Networks.

Demand for new and improved cybersecurity offerings, in some cases spurred by well-publicized data breaches and ransomware attacks, has created a healthy appetite for M&A with cybersecurity-related companies. In a recent deal, Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK) agreed to acquire Phantom Cyber Corp. for $350 million in cash and stock. Phantom, which helps businesses automate security threat responses, had been backed by venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Foundation Capital; and In-Q-Tel. KPMG recently acquired the identity and access management business from Cyberinc, a Mumbai cybersecurity company that helps protect enterprise businesses from cyberattacks. In its announcement of the deal, KPMG cited the rapidly growing sector of digital consumer identity and user management as key, evolving areas within cybersecurity solutions. Middle-market private equity firm LLR Partners bought BluVector, a cybersecurity company that detects cyber threats like malware, from Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC), for an undisclosed amount. PE firm Insight Venture Partners acquired Resolve Systems LLC, provider of real-time cybersecurity incident response and automation tools for company IT and network operations. Coalfire, a cybersecurity company backed by affiliates of the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) and the Chertoff Group, acquired Veris Group to create one of the largest providers of cybersecurity services.

Cyberattacks continue to pose serious threats to organizations of all kinds. On March 15, President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on a series of Russian organizations and individuals in retaliation for interference in the 2016 presidential elections and other “malicious cyberattacks.” The move represented the most significant action taken against Moscow since President Trump took office.

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