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F5 Buys Shape in Billion Dollar Cybersecurity Deal

Cybersecurity spending surged in 2019 as the high cost of data breaches became more evident to enterprises.

And just before the year drew to a close, another significant deal was announced with enterprise application management firm F5 shelling out $1 billion to acquire Shape – a cybersecurity company that protects the some of the world’s largest enterprises from fraud and cybercrime.

The acquisition will expand F5’s presence in the booming market of application security, giving the firm a strong position to build on the growth of recent years. In 2019, F5 celebrated continuing strong financials by moving its headquarters into a downtown Seattle skyscraper known as F5 Tower.

When the deal with Santa Clara-based Shape completes in mid-2020, F5 plans to marry its multi-cloud application protection with Shape’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities to better protect customer’s applications in “an increasingly complex multi-cloud world.”

“With Shape, we will deliver end-to-end application protection, which means revenue generating, brand-anchoring applications are protected from the point at which they are created through to the point where consumers interact with them – from code to customer,” said F5 President and CEO, François Locoh-Donou.

The purchase concludes a big year of spending for F5, and polishes off a prolific decade of deal-making in cybersecurity, which has seen an explosive rise over the past few years.

As mobile and web based applications have grown in popularity, we have seen an increase in security breaches of both businesses and governments, and the introduction of strong regulatory and compliance requirements in an attempt to protect data from sophisticated attacks.

This evolution has driven a wave of cybersecurity-focused deal-making, which is widely expected to continue in 2020.

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