Cybersecurity firm Symantec has announced its plans to acquire mobile threat defense vendor Skycure. The deal was for an undisclosed sum, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. This is the second acquisition of an Israeli cybersecurity startup that Symantec had announced in a week. Earlier, Symantec had announced its intention to buy Fireglass, best known for its anti-ransomware browser isolation capabilities. This deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.
Skycure offers an exceptionally thorough mobile threat defense system. The company’s security operates on the device level, the application level, and the network level to cover the broadest possible range of potential threat vectors from the ground up. The company has 75 employees split between Tel Aviv and their headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Skycure also has nearly 100 enterprise customers. Skycure has $27.5M in funding, the most recent of which was in July 2016 for $16.5M. Skycure’s competitors include Lookout ($282M) and Zimperium ($60M), two traditional EMM vendors. Although Skycure fits into the EMM space, it does not quite occupy the same place in the market as other vendors. Skycure’s forte is its secure containerization capabilities, in which users may run applications and establish outside connections safely.
This acquisition is far from Symantec’s first foray into mobile security for enterprise. In 2012, the company acquired Odyssey, a mobile device management provider, and Nukona, a mobile application management provider. Their applications were rolled into the Symantec Mobility Suite in 2014, but this slowly receded until the suite reached its end of life in 2016. Despite Symantec’s history of shaky acquisitions, the company has recently reinvented itself after its acquisition of Blue Coat Inc., a deal which saw Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark step in as Symantec CEO following the deal’s closing. Additionally, Skycure is a pure security company, a factor that plays to Symantec’s strengths. In the aftermath of its experiences with Odyssey and Nukona, Symantec decided to reinvent the role that mobile applications would play in its overall plan. Instead of again attempting to return to enterprise mobility in general, Symantec’s acquisition of Skycure is a conservative move that will simply provide Symantec with a tool to extend its security focus into this aspect of enterprise mobility.
EMM vendors have helped in bolstering the mobile security ecosystem, as they have been a magnet for complementary partnerships and integrations. These partnerships are wide-ranging, and span adjacent markets; Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), Identity as a Service (IDaaS), Network Access Control (NAC), Telecom Expense Management (TEM), and Mobile Threat Protection (MTP) are the most visible of these partnerships. Partnerships and integration with cloud infrastructure mega-vendors such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are likewise becoming more important. These relationships and integrations are critical because sophisticated cross-platform endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities are recommended and in many cases required, primarily in compliance-intensive industries. With its Skycure acquisition, Symantec will assume its seat at the EMM table. However, because Skycure is not an EMM provider, Symantec’s involvement in this market remains tangential - nonetheless, the introduction of a heavyweight to this part of the market could increase pressure on the sector’s participants.
View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.