McAfee announces intent to purchase Skyhigh Networks

In an effort to build upon its security portfolio, McAfee announced Monday it intends to acquire Skyhigh Networks for an undisclosed amount. The deal comes fewer than eight months after the company was spun out from Intel as a standalone company. McAfee was valued at $4.2 billion at the time of the spinout.

Originally founded in 2011 as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technology vendor, Skyhigh specializes in cloud security for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services. While financial details regarding the acquisition remain undisclosed, according to Crunchbase, Skyhigh has raised over $106 million in venture capital funding to date. After the deal is finalized early next year, McAfee plans to leverage Skyhigh’s technology as the basis of its new cloud business unit.

The move signals a larger trend in the CASB industry in which smaller companies are consolidating with bigger companies to advance their security products. In June 2016, for instance, Cisco purchased CloudLock for $293 million. Moreover, in September 2015, Microsoft purchased Adallom for $250 million, while Blue Coat purchased cloud security startup Elastica for $280 million in November 2015.

According to McAfee, the acquisition will enable the companies to provide customers with the most advanced cybersecurity architecture needed for the future, from endpoint to cloud control points, linked by the security operations center with actionable threat intelligence, analytics and orchestration, and enabled by an open ecosystem.

“Skyhigh Networks had the foresight five years ago to realize that cybersecurity for cloud environments could not be an impediment to, or afterthought of, cloud adoption,” said Skyhigh Networks CEO Rajiv Gupta. “They pioneered an entirely new product category called cloud access security broker (CASB) that analysts describe as one of the fastest growing areas of information security investments of the last five years – where Skyhigh continues to innovate and lead. Skyhigh’s leadership in cloud security, combined with McAfee’s security portfolio strength, will set the company apart in helping organizations operate freely and securely to reach their full potential.”

Gupta noted in an open letter to the business’s stakeholders and customers that its product portfolio will not be impacted by acquisition other than “more resources and acceleration in product innovation.” Once the deal is complete, Gupta will join McAfee’s leadership team, running the cloud security business unit.

“Becoming part of McAfee is the ideal next step in realizing Skyhigh Networks’ vision of not simply making the cloud secure, but making it the most secure environment for business,” Gupta said. “McAfee will provide global scale to further accelerate Skyhigh’s growth, with the combined company providing leading technologies and solutions across cloud and endpoint security – categories Skyhigh and McAfee respectively helped create, and the two architectural control points for enterprise security.”

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