The rise in data breaches and ransomware attacks is making businesses and government agencies reassess their cybsersecurity efforts and creating attractive deal opportunities in the sector. A number of strategic buyers including Honeywell, Open Text and Symantec are looking for acquisitions in the data security space to protect everything from mobile devices to e-mails.
Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) recognizes that making Norton antiviruses is longer enough web security. In 2017, the Mountain View, California-based company announced plans to buy Fireglass for undisclosed terms.
Fireglass provides organizations with Internet browser isolation technology that removes the threat of phishing, ransomware, and malware in real-time. The Tel Aviv-based target’s product can be integrated with a security operations team’s existing security tools in order to protect email, messaging and web browsing endpoints.
Symantec CEO Gregory Clark said the addition of Fireglass allows the company “to isolate potentially risky stuff that’s coming from e-mail consumption and also coming from consumption of the web.”
The Fireglass deal came around the same time Symantec purchased Skycure. The target, which has locations in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, provides predictive mobile threat defense services across Android, Windows and iOS devices. Clark is not ruling out Symantec making additional cybersecurity deals. “We continue to invest significantly in our organic development capabilities, as well as pursuing new technology acquisitions, where prudent, to accelerate our cyber defense offerings,” he told investors.
Other strategic buyers are also looking for deals. For example, Open Text Corp. (Nasdaq: OTEX) agreed to buy Guidance Software Inc. (Nasdaq: GUID) for $240 million in 2017. Pasadena, California-based Guidance offers investigation tools for cybersecurity, security incident response and data privacy. Also in 2017, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) purchased Nextnine for an undisclosed amount. New York-based Nextnine is known for protecting companies from cyberattacks, and remotely allows customers to monitor their systems. As companies continuously look to beef up their web security systems, cybersecurity services will remain in demand.