Network security

Fortinet acquires cloud and network security start-up ShieldX

Fortinet quietly bought cloud and network security startup ShieldX to give customers a more complete view of end users, desktops and OT devices.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-Based platform security provider completed its acquisition of San Jose, Calif.-Based ShieldX on March 10, a Fortinet spokesperson told CRN, but the company didn’t had not publicly announced the deal. ShieldX CEO Ken Levine posted an article about the Fortinet transaction on LinkedIn on Friday evening, following a LinkedIn post on Monday by Dave Karp, senior vice president of product management and marketing at ShieldX. .

“I can’t think of a better landing point for ShieldX than Fortinet,” Levine wrote on LinkedIn Friday. “I know this transaction has the potential to be incredibly good for everyone involved.”

[Related: 12 Hot Cybersecurity Startups You Need To Know About At RSA 2020]

ShieldX’s relationship with Fortinet began at the February 2020 RSA conference, according to Levine. He said on LinkedIn that the Fortinet team were “an absolute pleasure to deal with, even if they were tough enough on some points !!”

Fortinet is not disclosing how much it paid for ShieldX, according to a company spokesperson.

“After 18 months at ShieldX, I can say with confidence that… it was such a smart, talented and passionate team as one could wish to be a part of,” Levine wrote on LinkedIn. “To add [in] exceptional advice and advisors, it has been a privilege to be ceo.

The combination of Fortinet and ShieldX created an integrated offering to address lateral movement prevention as well as the convergence of OT, campus and multi-cloud data center segmentation, ShieldX wrote on a blog posted on the company’s website on March 8. ShieldX said it can expand perimeter security and campus segmentation with preventing east-west lateral movement.

The joint venture can better protect data and applications in all environments with the combination of network security from Fortinet and customer visibility and controls from ShieldX, the company said. Fortinet’s threat intelligence and alerts combined with analysis of east-west traffic in the data center should lead to faster response times, according to ShieldX.

ShieldX said it can automatically generate security policies for proper segmentation, as well as provide context and quantify risk for all assets communicating with applications. The company said its patented microservices architecture allows the platform to elastically evolve security while recording all changes in a report to ensure compliance.

The company said its unsupervised machine learning can generate security policies based on the risk score associated with vulnerabilities in the application structure. ShieldX said it can also automatically prevent exploits from attacking vulnerabilities through deep packet inspection as well as automated security policy creation and deployment.

This is Fortinet’s third deal in the past eight months, and comes three months after the company bought Panopta for $ 34 million to automate the management of servers, containers, applications, databases. data, cloud infrastructure and virtual appliances. The company also bought Opaq for $ 8 million in July to help protect distributed networks from data centers and branch offices to remote users and IoT devices.

ShieldX was founded in 2015, raised $ 34 million in outside funding and employs 43 people, up from 64 in April 2019, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company closed a $ 25 million Series B round in December 2017 led by Bain Capital Ventures, followed by an investment in August 2019 for an undisclosed amount from Thomvest Ventures.

The company has a number of prominent board members including FireEye Founder Ashar Aziz, Former Symantec Chairman and CEO Michael Fey, Former Palo Alto Networks Chairman Mark Anderson , NTT Security CEO Matthew Gyde, and Aspect Ventures Co-Founder Theresia Gouw, who led the company’s early investments in Cato Networks, Exabeam and Forescout.

In the same month that Thomvest invested, Levine joined Shield X as CEO after nearly five years at the helm of the Waltham, Mass. Based data protection provider. Digital Guardian. “It didn’t take long for me to recognize that ShieldX is where I wanted to be, if the founders and the board wanted to have me,” Levine wrote on a ShieldX blog upon his arrival.


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