The Panda acquisition positions WatchGuard for an XDR play.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 9, 2020

4 Min Read
AT&T upped its cybersecurity game with the acquisition of AlienVault. The vendor offers unified security management and what it calls the "first and largest open threat intelligence community." The companies say those capabilities will fit with AT&T's portfolio, which includes threat detection and response.Shutterstock

WatchGuard Technologies is beefing up its security platform with the acquisition of Panda Security, a Spain-based provider of advanced endpoint protection.

The combined company will provide centralized management of advanced threat detection and response functionality fueled by AI, behavior-profiling techniques and security event correlation. Financial details of the acquisition, which is expected to close next quarter, weren’t disclosed.

A WatchGuard spokesperson tells us endpoint detection and response, threat hunting, endpoint antivirus (AV), email security, patching, data compliance and encryption are all cited as top areas for investment by IT decision-makers.

“Short term, the acquisition of Panda makes these products accessible to our customer base through a trusted vendor and their IT solution provider of choice,” the spokesperson said. “Longer term, our customers will enjoy the additional benefits that come from these solutions being tightly integrated with the core WatchGuard offering — centralized management, security event correlation, etc.”

The full portfolio of WatchGuard and Panda products will be available to both customers and partners this year, providing opportunities for the combined organizations to take on new product offerings and work together to provide greater value to all sectors served by WatchGuard, the spokesperson said. The two leadership teams will begin work on a cross-selling timeline with the goal of having tentative dates soon after closing.

“WatchGuard has continued to deliver on its vision of providing a complete security portfolio of products and services that protect users both inside and beyond the network perimeter, including secure Wi-Fi solutions, multifactor authentation (MFA) and now most recently user-focused security services,” the spokesperson said. “The acquisition of Panda fuels that vision and expands the company’s portfolio of user-centric threat detection and response products and services.”

Rik Turner, principal analyst at Omdia, tells us WatchGuard is a well-known security vendor in the SMB market, where it offers network security, secure Wi-Fi, MFA and network intelligence. It also has ambitions in the enterprise segment, particularly with its Firebox next-gen firewall product. That said, a more serious foray into enterprise requires a broader portfolio, which is where the Panda acquisition comes in, he said.

The acquisition is the latest move in the emerging XDR segment, in which detection and response capabilities are offered across network, endpoint and beyond, he said.

“After a veritable explosion of endpoint security vendors in the mid-2010s, the last couple of years has seen considerable consolidation, with Invincea (bought by Sophos), Cylance (Blackberry), Bromium (HP), Endgame (Elastic), and Carbon Black (VMware) all being acquired,” Turner said. “WatchGuard’s move on Panda is the latest in this trend, and is recognition that enterprise security needs the XDR capabilities outlined by Omdia two years ago, rather than silos of endpoint, network and cloud security. The Panda acquisition certainly positions WatchGuard for an XDR play and thus makes it a more relevant competitor in enterprise security. Omdia will now be watching the enlarged entity to see how it expands its XDR offerings into security for the cloud.”

Panda was the first endpoint protection platform (EPP) vendor to offer a 100% attestation service, certifying the legitimacy and safety of all running applications. The company also recently launched a threat hunting service available for direct enterprise consumption and for MSSPs who resell Panda services.


WatchGuard’s Prakash Panjwani

“Businesses today face an increasingly sophisticated and evolving threat landscape, scarcity of trained security professionals and an increasingly porous perimeter,” said Prakash Panjwani, WatchGuard‘s CEO. “By bringing the companies together, we enable our current and future customers and partners to consolidate their fundamental security services under a single brand, backed by the innovation and quality that is a core part of both companies’ DNA.”

“We are thrilled to merge with WatchGuard because of the new scale and portfolio access it provides to our customers and partners,” said Juan Santamaria Uriarte, Panda‘s CEO. “We are also excited to see our innovative product portfolio be delivered via WatchGuard’s strong global network of partners. Together, we look forward to building a security platform that bridges the network and user perimeter, with capabilities that are unmatched in the cybersecurity market.”

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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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