McAfee acquires Skyhigh Networks to expand offerings after Intel split

A speaker at the McAfee Security Through Innovation Summit on April 6, 2017, in Pentagon City, Virginia. (CyberScoop)


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California-based cybersecurity giant McAfee announced plans Monday to acquire Skyhigh Networks, a cloud data storage security firm, in order to expand the company’s offerings as it looks to establishes itself once again as a standalone brand.

The purchase comes less than eight months after McAfee was spun out of technology behemoth Intel.

“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,” stated McAfee CEO Chris Young.

The deal represents McAfee’s first foray into the cloud access security broker (CASB) market segment, which has seen multiple company acquisitions in the last year. In practice, CASB technology is commonly used by customers to ensure that they are compliant with insurance guidelines as well as federal, state and local rules concerning security measures surrounding customer data storage.

Other competing cloud access security brokers include Blue Coat Systems (acquired by Symantec in 2016), CloudLock, Netskope (who recently raised $100 million from private investors), Palo Alto Networks and Palerra (acquired by Oracle in 2016).

In an open message posted to McAfee’s investor website, Young described Skyhigh as an “ideal complement to McAfee’s strategy — one focused on building and optimizing mission-critical cybersecurity environments for the future.”

In an April interview with CRN, following its split with Intel, Young said McAfee planned to target several innovative security companies to acquire.

“For McAfee employees, I promised you we would play to win,” Young wrote. “McAfee started its legacy in endpoint; Skyhigh in cloud … Upon this transaction close, both legacies will meet under one company … to offer our mutual customers market-leading capabilities in the two control points that matter most.”

Market research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts that the CASB market will be worth $7.51 billion by 2020. And Gartner forecasts that customers will be spending upwards of $713 million on CASB products annually by 2020.

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