22 Jan 2016
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FireEye acquires cyber threat intelligence specialist for $200m

By Catherine Knowles

FireEye has acquired iSight Partners, the privately held company that specialises in cyber threat intelligence for global enterprises.

The transaction closed on January 14, 2016, and under the terms of the merger agreement, FireEye will pay approximately $200 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to be slightly accretive to FireEye’s 2016 operating income and cash flow.

As of December 31, 2015, FireEye’s balance sheet included approximately $1.17 billion in cash equivalents and short-term investments.

With this acquisition, FireEye plans to add new intelligence subscription models that include industry vertical specific slices, similar to FireEye’s planned offerings with Visa, so existing and new customers will be able to purchase new threat intelligence products tailored to their organization’s specific threat profile.

FireEye says existing iSight customers will continue to have access to iSight products, and customers of both companies will benefit from lower business risk through higher fidelity alerts, context to prioritise threats and the strategic insights to proactively prepare for threats that might target their industry or region.

FireEye says it’s existing customer base will see immediate value in their existing subscriptions through increased protection from the iSight intelligence network, which will feed core threat intelligence into the DTI ecosystem that is continually refreshed every 60 minutes.

The Sight intelligence network monitors and mines global cyber threat development and thousands of threat actors, and the company has invested nearly $100 million over eight years to build out its intelligence capability.

“With higher quality alerts and the context to prioritise the most critical attacks with the response information at their fingertips, we solidify our role as an essential part of our customers’ security infrastructure,” says Michael Berry, FireEye chief financial officer.

“By delivering nation-state grade threat intelligence to commercial customers, we create new cross-sell opportunities that will drive new subscription revenue and increasing renewal value for existing customers," he says.

Both iSight and FireEye are working towards an intelligence-led security model, which offers deeper and broader visibility into attacks, attackers and attack methodologies, thereby enabling organisations to more effectively detect, respond to and anticipate security breaches.

“This acquisition extends FireEye’s intelligence lead with an offering no one else in the industry can match,” says David DeWalt, FireEye chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

“The biggest mistake most people make is thinking threat intelligence is a collection of virus definitions in a shared database.

“Forward-looking security organisations - from governments to the private sector - know threat intelligence is the key to establishing a robust security posture tuned for the threats targeting each organisation.

“As the cyber operations become integrated with physical, geopolitical and competitive conflict, an intelligence-led approach to security will be key in detecting the most sophisticated threats and responding to them quickly and effectively," he says. “Until now, only governments and large enterprises have been able to achieve intelligence-led security, but with the combined resources of FireEye, Mandiant and iSight, we can make the benefits of intelligence-led security available to a broad range of organisations,” says John Watters, iSight founder and chief executive officer prior to the acquisition.

“We’re bringing iSight together with intelligence teams inside of FireEye and Mandiant that are among the best in the industry, fusing victim-based intelligence with attacker-based, over-the-horizon insights derived from iSIGHT’s global cyber-threat ecosystem.

“When coupled with the technology and services of FireEye and Mandiant, this intelligence capability is a game changer for the industry and enables an intelligence-led security model that other security companies will be hard pressed to replicate," Walters says.

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