Cybersecurity firm to buy start-up ObserveIT for $225 million
Cybersecurity vendor Proofpoint is bulking up its insider threat detection capabilities with the planned $225 million acquisition of ObserveIT, a start-up whose lightweight endpoint agent and data risk analytics give organizations greater insight into employee use of sensitive data.
The Lowdown: The acquisition of the Boston-based company will add to Proofpoint’s data loss prevention (DLP) expertise around data classification, threat detection, and intelligence.
The Details: Proofpoint, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, includes e-mail, cloud-access security broker (CASB), and data-at-rest among its DLP capabilities. The addition of ObserveIT – the deal is expected to close by the end of the year – will bring endpoint protection into the fold, a particularly important capability given the increasingly decentralized nature of IT, with more employees accessing data and applications from outside the data center – such as the cloud and edge – on various devices and from various locations.
ObserveIT’s namesake platform enables security teams to more easily detect, investigate, and prevent insider threat activity via real-time alerts and insights into user activity. Proofpoint will invest in ObserveIT’s solution and integrate it into its larger DLP platform.
The Impact: Proofpoint partners and customers will get a more complete DLP platform that addresses a highly distributed computing environment that no longer can be addressed simply by putting a security perimeter around a company’s IT. Proactively identifying threats and quickly addressing attacks and vulnerabilities is becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes. Among Proofpoint’s offerings is a security solution aimed at SMBs and sold exclusively through the channel.
Background: Proofpoint said in a recent report that more than 99% of cyberattacks require the interaction of people to make them work and bad actors tend to target employees as a key gateway into companies. Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation report found that 29% of data breaches come through compromised credentials and 32% via compromised endpoints. In addition, 34% are perpetrated by malicious insiders.
The Buzz: “Today’s ObserveIT acquisition underscores Proofpoint’s commitment to providing organizations with people-centric cybersecurity and compliance solutions that protect what matters: their people and the data they have access to, in a post-perimeter, cloud-first world,” said Proofpoint chairman and CEO Gary Steele. “Defending data requires the ability to detect risky insider threat behavior and risky user activity, and swiftly mitigate risk across cloud apps, e-mail, and endpoints. We’re the only security company that provides organizations with deep visibility into their most attacked people – and with ObserveIT, we’ll bring to market the first truly innovative enterprise DLP offering in years.”
“Proofpoint’s leadership in people-centric cybersecurity security, broader intelligence, and R&D resources are significant market differentiators and directly complement our ability to quickly detect insider threats and prevent critical information loss,” said ObserveIT CEO Mike McKee. “We’re very excited to join the Proofpoint team and provide customers with even more powerful solutions to mitigate insider threats, decrease incident investigation time, and make sure users don’t intentionally or accidentally send valuable, confidential information externally.”