Proofpoint to acquire cybersecurity firm ObserveIT for $225m

4 Nov 2019

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Cybersecurity company Proofpoint is set to purchase insider threat management firm ObserveIT for $225m in cash.

Proofpoint has entered into a “definitive agreement” to purchase Israel- and Boston-based cybersecurity firm ObserveIT for $225m. The deal is expected to close in Q4 2019, subject to review and regulatory approvals.

With this acquisition, Proofpoint plans to expand its data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities by combining ObserveIT’s endpoint agent technology and data risk analytics with Proofpoint’s threat detection and intelligence offerings.

The integrated DLP will deliver real-time detection of anomalous interactions across people, data, devices and applications. This will allow security teams to understand and respond to the mishandling of data, the company said.

“Today’s ObserveIT acquisition underscores Proofpoint’s commitment to providing organisations with people-centric cybersecurity and compliance solutions that protect what matters: their people and the data they have access to in a post-perimeter, cloud-first world,” said Gary Steele, chair and chief executive officer of Proofpoint.

Steele continued: “Defending data requires the ability to detect risky insider threat behaviour and risky user activity, and swiftly mitigate risk across cloud apps, email, and endpoints.”

Mike McKee, CEO of ObserveIT, added: “Proofpoint’s leadership in people-centric cybersecurity security, broader intelligence and R&D resources are significant market differentiators and directly complement our ability to quickly detect insider threats and prevent critical information loss.

“We are very excited to join the Proofpoint team and provide customers with even more powerful solutions to mitigate insider threats, decrease incident investigation time, and make sure users don’t intentionally or accidentally send valuable, confidential information externally.”

Recent research released by Proofpoint found that more than 99pc of cyberattacks require human interaction to succeed.

A very small percentage of cyberattacks, the research team explained, actually exploit system vulnerabilities. More often, cybercriminals will use phishing techniques refined by social engineering. Humans were consistently found to be “the most effective vectors to infiltrate organisations and facilitate fraud and theft”.

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic