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The cybersecurity market is red hot

July 12, 2021, 8:21 PM UTC

The market for cybersecurity companies is heating up amid the huge number of high-profile hacks and ransomware attacks.

Microsoft said on Monday that it would buy the startup RiskIQ, which helps companies identify potential security problems online. Microsoft didn’t reveal how much it will pay for RiskIQ, but a Bloomberg News report said the deal could be worth more than $500 million. The acquisition comes just a month after Microsoft said it would also buy security startup ReFirm Labs, which helps companies find security vulnerabilities in their Internet-connected devices, like printers, security cameras, and drones.

In June, Cisco said it had closed its acquisition of Kenna Security, which sells software that helps companies aggregate and prioritize cybersecurity threats. Meanwhile, during the same month, Amazon’s AWS unit said it would buy Wickr, which specializes in encrypted messaging tools that scramble corporate communications so that hackers or other third-parties are unable to read sensitive information. 

Smaller companies have also been gobbling up security vendors.

In June, for instance, business software company JFrog, which went public in the fall, said it would buy security startup Vdoo, which helps developers spot security problems in their code. Around the same time, cybersecurity vendor Forcepoint said it would buy smaller security vendor Deep Secure, which helps companies remove malware from their corporate networks. 

Even the consulting firms are on a security buying binge.

Accenture said in June that it would acquire Sentor, a small Sweden-based cybersecurity company that Accenture said would help grow its Swedish consulting business. Fellow consulting firm Deloitte, meanwhile, said that it would buy Terbium Labs, which helps businesses spot fraudulent social media accounts and identify their stolen data sold on the dark web, the portion of the Internet that search engines like Google don’t index. 

The unfortunate reality is that even as these tech giants and consulting firms scoop up security vendors, high-profile hacks like the recent Kaseya attack will likely continue. As a recent Bloomberg News report indicated, employees of Kaseya warned executives about cybersecurity problems in the company’s tools, but management reportedly ignored their concerns.

It’s a stark reminder that even if companies have bought the latest and greatest cybersecurity tool, the software is useless if managers don’t act on its findings. 

But don’t tell that to all the tech companies and consulting firms gobbling up security vendors. They have some products they’d like you to buy.

Jonathan Vanian 
@JonathanVanian
jonathan.vanian@fortune.com

NEWSWORTHY

Score one for Apple. A federal judge in Delaware has agreed to dismiss an antitrust case brought against Apple by the software company Blix, tech news publication 9to5Mac reported. Blix alleged that Apple favored its own services over third parties in its app store and that Apple infringed the company’s patent with its “Sign In With Apple” feature that lets people more easily log into third-party accounts. The Delaware judge said that Blix’s allegations were “unpersuasive,” the report said.

Broadcom beefing up. Broadcom is in talks to buy the software and analytics company SAS Institute in a deal that could be valued between $15 billion to $20 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter. The deal would help Broadcom, known for its computer chips and modems, build its enterprise software business, the report said.

What Samsung may have up its sleeves. Samsung may be set to release its new Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable smartphone and new versions of its Galaxy Watch Internet-connected watches, according to the blogger Evan Blass who shared some leaked renderings of the yet-to-be-announced devices on Twitter. As The Verge noted, Samsung could announce the new devices during its upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event, which Blass said could be on August 11. “Since Samsung hasn’t officially announced any of these products or the date of the event, there’s always the chance that what Blass leaked doesn’t actually come out,” the report said.

Ice tea, blockchain, and lawsuits. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued three people as part of an alleged insider-trading scheme related to Long Island Ice Tea's rebranding to Long Blockchain in 2017, Bloomberg News reported. From the report: Eric Watson, an undisclosed control person of the company, drove the business change and tipped off his friend and broker, Oliver Barret-Lindsay. Barret-Lindsay then told his pal, Gannon Giguiere, who made more than $160,000 in illegal profits, the SEC said.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Where have all the creators gone? Facebook is on a major push to lure so-called creators to its core Facebook app and to its photo-sharing app Instagram, according to a report by The New York Times. The report details how creators, typically people who create self-made videos that draw large Internet followings, have flocked to rival services like TikTok and YouTube at the expense of Facebook, which “failed to seize opportunities to win over creators.”

From the article: Facebook is seeking to overcome its slow start with creators as it tries to stay culturally relevant. The social network once regularly originated memes like Chewbacca Mom (featuring a woman laughing hysterically while wearing a mask of the Star Wars character) and the A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge (where people dumped ice water over their heads to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research).

But those were years ago. As YouTube, TikTok and other rivals became increasingly popular, they produced more trends and memes. The Sea Shanty sensation, which features people creating and performing traditional whaling songs with modernized lyrics, was one of the biggest mainstream memes of the past 18 months — and it started on TikTok.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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What Biden’s ‘right to repair’ order could mean for Apple and Tesla by Jennifer Alsever

Sheryl Sandberg, Fidji Simo, and the power of women at Facebook by Kristen Bellstrom 

Stamps.com gets $6 billion takeover offer, shares soar 64% by Chris Morris

Elon Musk support reverses dogecoin price drop by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

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BEFORE YOU GO

I wear my sunglasses in space. If you want to see Richard Branson floating in zero gravity, his rocket company Virgin Galactic shared a short clip via Twitter of the business mogul’s recent space journey.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1414290124779626499

The video shows Branson, sporting sunglasses, giving an inspirational message, telling people that he “was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars.”

“To the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do,” Branson added before unclipping his seatbelt and rising to the rocket ship’s ceiling.
 

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