This acquisition will be a 'significant win' for KnowBe4 partners.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

October 21, 2021

3 Min Read

KnowBe4 is acquiring SecurityAdvisor, a security awareness training and automation company, for $80 million in cash and stock.

SecurityAdvisor’s technology utilizes integrations with more than 50 cybersecurity vendors to identify and correlate human behavior-driven security alerts. The technology maps the alerts to relevant micro-learning opportunities that are pushed out to users via enterprise instant messaging apps.

KnowBe4‘s security awareness platform will integrate with SecurityAdvisor next year. That will provide a “new milestone in defending against social engineering attacks,” KnowBe4 said. Security teams will be able to identify and remediate gaps in the overall cybersecurity architecture. Moreover, they’ll help make customers’ existing investments in security products more valuable.

The acquisition should close this quarter pending customary closing conditions.

‘Significant Win’ for KnowBe4 Partners

Michael Williams is KnowBe4’s CMO.


KnowBe4’s Michael Williams

“This acquisition will be a significant win for our partners,” he said. “The opportunity is for our partners to provide more value to their customers in a few different ways. The ability to combine KnowBe4‘s leading platform with the additional capabilities of real-time behavior analysis and micro-learning is strategically a game changer. We expect that midsize SMBs up to the largest enterprises will have interest in these advanced capabilities. In addition, the correlation of the real-world user behavior data can be fed back to the security operations center (SOC), highlighting areas for closing gaps within their current technology stack and improving the efficacy of the products that they already have in place. I believe this will be a big opportunity for our channel partners to expand their strategic-advisor role with their customers.”

Different Security Awareness Approaches

KnowBe4 and SecurityAdvisor are both trying to address the same problem, Williams said. That’s how to strengthen the human defense layer, the user.

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

“The capability that SecurityAdvisor has developed is something that KnowBe4 has been scoping for some time now,” he said.

SecurityAdvisor has done a “fantastic job at building out a large portfolio of very meaningful integrations with most of the leading vendors in the security stack,” Williams said.

“Given all of that, the timing made a lot of sense for sooner rather than later,” he said.

Partners Lead KnowBe4 Expansion

KnowBe4 has been expanding globally with its channel partner program as the “tip of the spear” in that strategy, Williams said.

“Clearly, SecurityAdvisor does not have the global scope of KnowBe4 given its scale,” he said. “But we believe that this combined technology, which we are calling human detection & response (or HDR), will have global appeal that fits very well with our international expansion plans.”

SecurityAdvisor partners will be able to provide a “new layer of value” to their customers, Williams said.

Krish Venkataraman is KnowBe4’s co-president and chief financial officer.

“This acquisition is expected to expand our total addressable market through the addition of HDR functionality to the platform and will provide immediate enhancements to our R&D teams,” he said. “This addition to our cross-sell capabilities will also provide an opportunity for us to continue to grow with our existing customer base”

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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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