Security vendors announce merger

One of the major criticisms of security vendors by channel partners is that there are too many of them. In an industry that has embraced consolidation, the security vendors tend to back off major acquisitions. In fact the biggest security acquisition in recent years was done by chip-making giant Intel Corp., when they acquired McAfee.

Today, two security vendors decided to buck that trend and merge. Waltham, Mass.-based Bit9, an advanced threat protection vendor announced a merger agreement with Carbon Black of San Antonio, Tex., that makes enterprise end point protection software.

The new company will take the name of Bit9 and as a result of this deal raised $38.25 million. The two companies plan to combined technology such as Endpoint Threat Detection and Response from Carbon Black with Bit9 prevention software to get after the endpoint and server protection market.

Patrick Morley, Bit9 president and CEO, said every enterprise endpoint and server is a defenseless blind spot for advanced threats. Traditional defenses such as anti-virus can’t detect or stop stealthy attacks orchestrated by malicious actors, or help companies respond to incidents, which has been painfully underlined by the recent high-profile intrusions into leading retailers.

Carbon Black’s lightweight endpoint sensor can be deployed with no configuration so that organizations can have continuous surveillance of computers. Advanced threats are stopped by using Bit9’s signature-less prevention technology, which can be customized to meet the needs of different users and systems, Morley said.

“Every organization, big or small, must add prevention and surveillance capabilities to all of their computers or they risk becoming the next victim of a costly attack. The combination of Bit9 and Carbon Black leapfrogs the rest of the market, as we are the only company that empowers security teams to immediately prevent, detect and respond to advanced attacks on their endpoints and servers,” he added.

Wendy Nather, research director of the Enterprise Security Practice at 451 Research, commented on the merger saying enterprise security teams don’t want a product that tells them something is wrong, but that can’t help them respond to the problem. There are a lot of companies that focus on detection but ignore prevention. “The merger of Bit9 and Carbon Black is intended to address a fundamental issue for endpoints and servers: what you cannot prevent, you must detect, and then you must respond,” she said.

Mike Viscuso, the CEO of Carbon Black, said in today’s environment, organizations can’t afford to call expensive incident response companies every time they suspect they have a breach. “Bit9 and Carbon Black are addressing the full lifecycle of endpoint security,” he said.

Bit9 has more than 1,000 installations. The entire Carbon Black team will join Bit9 and Viscuso will assume the new position of chief strategy officer, reporting to Morley.

The additional funding was led by existing Bit9 investor Atlas Venture and included all other current Bit9 investors—.406 Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Sequoia Capital—and a direct investment by Blackstone, an investor in Carbon Black. With this round, Bit9 has raised a total of $120 million.

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