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McAfee To Acquire Leading CASB Provider Skyhigh Networks

McAfee is filling a void in its security portfolio with its plan to acquire leading cloud access security broker (CASB) provider Skyhigh Networks. The deal to acquire Skyhigh for an undisclosed amount, announced today, will give McAfee one of the most regarded CASB offerings as the company looks to join the fray of vendors blending cloud security, network protection and endpoint management.

Prior to spinning off from Intel earlier this year, McAfee determined it needed to focus on two key threat protection and defense control points: the endpoint and cloud, a strategy Symantec similarly concluded last year by acquiring Blue Coat for $4.6 billion. Cisco also came to that conclusion last year with its acquisition of CloudLock, which it is integrating with its OpenDNS, Talos threat analytics and existing firewall and data loss protection (DLP) offerings.

Microsoft jumped into the CASB arena two years ago with the acquisition of Adallom, which was relaunched last year as Cloud App Security and refreshed in September at the Ignite conference with support for conditional access. It's now offered as an option with Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) service. Other popular providers of CASB tools include BitGlass, CipherCloud, Forcepoint, Imperva and Netskope.

Raja Patel, McAfee's VP and general manager for corporate products, said in an interview that customers and channel partners have all asked what the company had planned in terms of offering a CASB solution. "We think there is a large market for CASBs and the capabilities that Skyhigh brings," Patel said.  "They were the original CASB player in the marketplace, and they have led the category and really moved the needle in terms of their leadership and evolving the category."

Upon closing of the deal, which is scheduled to take place early next year, Skyhigh Networks CEO Rajiv Gupta will report to McAfee CEO Chris Young and will oversee the combined vendor's cloud security business. Gupta's team, which will join McAfee, will also help integrate Skyhigh Networks' CASB with McAfee's endpoint and DLP offerings. "Combined with McAfee's endpoint security capabilities and operations center solutions with actionable threat intelligence, analytics and orchestration, we will be able to deliver a set of end-to-end security capabilities unique in the industry," Gupta said in a blog post.

Patel said the company plans to let customers bring the policies implemented in their McAfee endpoint protection software and network DLP systems to their cloud infrastructure and SaaS platforms. Another priority is bringing more context to its endpoint tools and integrating the CASB with Web gateways and cloud service providers.

While only 15 percent of organizations used CASBs last year, Patel cited a Gartner forecast that found the market will grow to 85 percent by 2020. "If you look at the exponential growth of people adopting public cloud environments over the past two years, it extends to moving the security posture around it."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/27/2017 at 12:17 PM


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