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Bitdefender, Fortinet, eSentire Lead Big Day in Cybersecurity M&A

Fortinet Tuesday completed its acquisition of ZoneFox.

Edward Gately

October 23, 2018

4 Min Read
M&A
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Bitdefender, Fortinet and eSentire are beefing up their cybersecurity capabilities with acquisitions in the areas of network security analytics, cloud-based insider threat detection and response, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Bitdefender is buying Netherlands-based RedSocks Security, which specializes in automated detection of suspicious network behavior and combating cybercrime. The acquisition expands Bitdefender’s portfolio and addressable market into network security and analytics, and fosters continued growth.

Joe Sykora, Bitdefender’s vice president of worldwide channel development, tells Channel Partners the acquisition means his company’s partners now can offer additional network security solutions.

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Bitdefender’s Joe Sykora

“For example, partners will be able to open new doors at end users based on solutions around network security just like we do with our data-center security solutions,” he said. “For existing clients, our partners will be able to offer additional solutions and managed security around these solutions.”

RedSocks is a 100-percent channel company and had existing partners and a partner program in place, Sykora said.

“For existing partners this represents an expanded security portfolio to offer their clients with top-ranked data-center security and endpoint-security solutions,” he said. “They will also benefit from our expanded channel support and coverage that we have been making large investments in.”

Both the U.S. and Europe are key markets for Bitdefender. While the RedSocks portfolio will open more sales opportunities for Bitdefender globally, the company also expects the acquisition to accelerate its go-to-market traction within Europe.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Meantime, Fortinet Tuesday completed its acquisition of ZoneFox, a privately held cloud-based insider threat detection and response company based in Scotland. Fortinet said the acquisition further enhances the Fortinet Security Fabric, and strengthens its existing endpoint and security information and event management (SIEM) business.

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Fortinet’s John Maddison

John Maddison, Fortinet’s senior vice president of products and solutions, tells Channel Partners his company’s partners will benefit from the acquisition in a number of ways, including “selling an expanded product and services portfolio, access to an increased addressable market, and the ability to up-level their strategic sales conversations with chief information security officers (CISOs).”

ZoneFox supports VARs in the United States who can join the Fortinet partner community, he said.

“Fortinet is committed to providing our partners with a broad portfolio of industry-leading solutions all tied together by our open security fabric platform approach to cybersecurity,” Maddison said. “This acquisition expands our portfolio to allow Fortinet partners to offer customers additional tools to solve their most difficult problems.”

And eSentire is buying Seattle-based Versive, a cybersecurity AI company that delivers advanced threat detection and automation with its platform. eSentire will bring together AI with its managed detection and response (MDR) platform and security analyst expertise.

Kerry Bailey, eSentire’s CEO, tells Channel Partners the new Versive + eSentire solution provides a significant opportunity for his company’s partners to …

… “quickly put a service in place that can provide immediate visibility of the customer’s highly distributed environments.” eSentire gets more than 30 percent of its business from the channel and expects that to exceed 50 percent by the end of 2019, he said.

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eSentire’s Kerry Bailey

“Our partners will work with their customers to establish best-in-class security controls, map assets to their respective risk profile and establish data feeds to our AI platform, all of which allows immediate visibility and the ability to hunt for threats quickly,” he said. “At the start of next month, we will begin extending Versive’s capabilities to key partners. Versive’s technology will enable solution providers to integrate AI capabilities on-premise[s] and become more involved in tuning, setting up and implementing the MDR environment.”

Longer term, Versive’s strength around large data sets also will help eSentire, and by extension its partners, expand into the upper enterprise, Bailey said.

“To that end, we are currently building out partnerships with a couple of larger media and entertainment-focused partners, and then will expand our partner push to other verticals upmarket,” he said.

Versive primarily has sold direct in the past and only recently started to develop its own channel relationships, Bailey said.

“As we continue developing our own channel program at eSentire, our plan is to continue to aggressively grow the share of the business that it generates,” he said. “We look forward to working with Versive’s partners in that process and accelerating the adoption of our technology within that community.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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