Insight Bite: Palo Alto Networks Buys Zingbox in IoT Security Push

In the cat and mouse game of cybersecurity, the mouse is always one step ahead. 

Catching up with the evolving threat requires expertise to be constantly refreshed, generating steady demand for innovative startups like Zingbox, which is being sold to Californian-cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks for $75 million.

Stanford spinout Zingbox will give Palo Alto Networks a suite of tools called IoT Guardian. This allows companies to build multiple layers of security around connected devices, and uses machine learning to spot suspicious intrusions and raise the alarm.

IoT Guardian will be integrated with Palo Alto’s Next-Generation Firewall and Cortex threat detection service, and will also remain available as a standalone product.

“The proliferation of IoT devices in enterprises has left customers facing an enormous gap in protection against cybersecurity attacks.” said Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora in a statement on the deal. “With the proposed acquisition of Zingbox, we will provide a first-of-its-kind subscription for our Next-Generation Firewall and Cortex platforms that gives customers the ability to gain control, visibility and security of their connected devices at scale.” 

The acquisition comes after a spate of security startup purchases designed to help Palo Alto Networks guard against the latest generation of threats. These include Twistlock – a cloud-focused cybersecurity platform, and Demisto – a provider of automated cyber security solutions.

IoT however,  is of particular interest.  A report from Zebra Technologies’ found that 86 percent of enterprises are expected to increase their spending on IoT in 2019, and that network security is a primary concern.

In recognition of the hot demand, other big tech firms have also been aggressively pursuing acquisitions in the field. Accenture announced the purchase of enterprise IoT security platform Deja vu in June, and network hardware firm Cisco boosted its own Iot security capabilities in August with the  acquisition of French industrial IoT company Sentryo .

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