Security companies typically start by focusing on one particular problem, but the biggest ones like Palo Alto Networks, FireEye and Symantec have shifted to a horizontal approach, typically gaining functionality over time through acquisition. SentinelOne, which went public last June, appears to be taking a similar tack, and yesterday the company announced it is acquiring Attivo Networks for $616.5 million.
With Attivo, the company gains access to its identity management, an approach that has become ever more important as companies shift to the cloud. The pandemic has of course accelerated this approach, and SentinelOne needed to cover this functionality. SentinelOne COO Nicholas Warner sees the acquisition as a natural addition to his company’s platform, especially in light of the need to offer more protection outside the confines of an office environment.
“The shift to hybrid work and increased cloud adoption has established identity as the new perimeter, highlighting the importance of visibility into user activity. Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR) is the missing link in holistic XDR (Extended Detection and Response) and zero trust strategies,” Warner said in a statement.
While that is a mouthful of security tech jargon, there is an element of truth to it all. Companies do need to be able to monitor users on their systems more carefully, looking for extraordinary activity, and the acquisition does in fact add this missing element to the SentinelOne platform.
Attivo Networks CEO Tushar Kothari sees the companies as a good fit, and a way to continue to build on the startup’s initial vision inside a larger public company. “For Attivo, this acquisition is not an exit. An exit, by its very nature, implies a change in direction or act of deceleration. Joining forces with SentinelOne is just the opposite: an opportunity to continue on Attivo’s current path without slowing down,” Kothari wrote in a company blog post announcing the deal.
SentinelOne went public last June, raising $1.2 billion. Last year, it purchased Scalyr, a high-speed logging company for $155 million. Attivo launched in 2011 and raised more than $60 million along the way. Its last raise was a modest $11 million in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.
SentinelOne stock is up over 14% in early trading today.