Consolidation in the cybersecurity industry? The world is now more reliant on technology than ever before. The emergence and growth of technology has had a positive impact on human life, but the convenience has, however, come with the risk of cyber attacks. If you use a tech device for whatever reason, then you’re highly likely to be exposed to a cyber attack. You’ll need to be protected, and that’s where cyber security comes in. Cyber security is the protection of electronic data and information. It’s the defense of electronic systems on devices, like computers, cell phones, servers, and networks, from malicious attacks. Regardless of who you are, it’s important to keep your data safe from unauthorized access.
But why is cybersecurity important and such a vital topic these days? It’s because companies of all sizes are being hit with cyber attacks. And often it’s with companies that are household names – in 2020 alone Marriott, Twitter, Garmin, SolarWinds and others were hit with data breaches – a fact that should be extremely concerning to everybody. According to DynaSys, $1.1 million is the cost of the average cyber attack. But consider this – MacAfee has estimated that in 2017, global cybercrime has a price tag around $600 billion annually. Yes, that’s billion with a “B.”
Although most common in the form of emails, phishing can take place outside of this field. Hackers are now using punycode, a lookalike method which sees remarkably similar domain names linking to a fraudulent, malware-infested site, gaining access to your private information in seconds. It’s important to be vigilant and if something looks suspicious, it probably is. Having standard anti-virus software within your business could certainly help you maintain security short term, but with consistent new threats ready to strike at any time, it’s no longer enough to keep your systems secure. Most commonly, it is in fact user error that allows malware threats to find their way into a business. A staggering 95% of cybersecurity attacks are a result of some kind of human error. We all make mistakes, and the likelihood is more so if the threat is presenting itself in disguise. It could be a simple click on a deceiving link, or not updating your systems as soon as required. Surprisingly, standard protocols like passwords are still not being implemented in companies. This offers cybercriminals an all access route into your business’ systems. A simple security measure is to make sure all company passwords are strong and cannot be easily guessed.
Mergers and acquisitions require a mix of strategic and tactical work – cybersecurity is usually an item on the tactical list. Many organizations are drawing up plans for mergers and acquisitions right now, as leaders look for growth after the pandemic slowdown, and as new business models emerge. However, weakened cybersecurity hygiene throughout the last year means that these M&A transactions elevate the risk of cybersecurity incidents. “M&A can be a breeding ground for cyberattacks and data breaches,” said Mordechai Gal, operations director at AccessHeat Inc. “Stringent due diligence that includes a focus on cybersecurity will help reduce regrets later in the deal lifecycle.” Today’s M&A plans need to include cybersecurity at several strategic and tactical points, to address growing scrutiny from regulators and other evolving cybersecurity risks.
M&A activity was consistent from the first half of 2019 into the second, and the strong trend continued into the first quarter of 2020. By mid-April of last year, the industry had seen several acquisitions, with many in the billion-dollar range, as organizations expanded their portfolios and filled in gaps. Not surprisingly, mergers significantly slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic as organizations focused on market changes and adjusting their teams and expenses, to survive the drastic enterprise changes and shift to remote work environments. Some deals made headlines during the pandemic, but overall, the industry’s M&A was quieter than usual. But mergers and acquisitions have again started to pick up following the 2020 decline.
Recent cybersecurity M&A news: US financial software company Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Israeli application programming interface (API) security technology for enterprises company Imvision. Imvision develops technology that enables enterprises to automatically discover, test and protect against attacks, by monitoring API traffic to identify threats and vulnerabilities. Financial details about the deal were not disclosed although media reports say that Intuit is paying $50 million for Inuit. Founded in 2014 by Sharon Mantin, VP R&D Yossi Barshishat and Eli Plotnik, Imvision’s platform is able to auto-discover APIs based on network traffic, classify them using machine learning, identify data exposure, and detect anomalous user and data activity.
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire an undisclosed cyber-threat company for 1.5 million pounds ($2 million). The U.K. cybersecurity technology commercialization company said that it will pay for the transaction in a mixture of cash and shares, and that some of the payment will be deferred. The company said the deal would bring its portfolio to five cybersecurity offerings alongside its cybersecurity consulting business. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire this fast growth company, and to complete our objective of having five cybersecurity software as a service products in our portfolio almost a year ahead of schedule,” Chief Executive Tom Ilube said.
Cybersecurity is at the forefront of any tech company and has become a top priority for just about any industry where data is stored and shared. As large companies seek to create more sophisticated platforms to protect their data assets, the increase in recent cybersecurity mergers and acquisitions has drastically grown over the past ten years. Companies are now recognizing this technology to be just as essential as any other component of their business. The lack of an all-encompassing security blanket in today’s platforms is the primary driver in this consolidation trend. AccessHeat Inc. is in the market to acquire cybersecurity firms and leverage their varied technologies to achieve combinational and transformational synergies. If a profitable exit strategy is one of your future goals, our investors will work directly with you to transition your company into our investment firm.