McAfee has joined an expanding group of established security vendors acquiring cloud specialists in a bid to diversify offerings amid an increasingly crowded marketplace.
The recent on-boarding of NanoSec - a multi-cloud, zero-trust application and security platform - adds weight to the theory that industry heavyweights are building out new capabilities through cloud-centric buyouts.
“This is just the latest in a string of deals in which top-tier enterprise cyber security vendors have picked up specialist start-ups in cloud security,” observed Rik Turner, principal analyst of Infrastructure Solutions, Ovum.
Within the space of two years, Palo Alto Networks and Sophos have spearheaded the charge, with the former snapping up a string of names, including Evident.io, RedLock, TwistLock and PureSec. Meanwhile, Sophos acquired three businesses within the space of six months, through Rook Security, DarkBytes and Avid Secure.
“Like those three heavyweights, McAfee has a huge enterprise customer base to sell cloud security to, so the potential is certainly there,” Turner added.
Specifically, the acquisition of NanoSec will integrate technology into McAfee MVision Cloud and MVision Server protection products.
As a result, Turner sees McAfee “jockeying for position” in cloud security following last year's acquisition of cloud access security broker (CASB) vendor Skyhigh Networks.
“NanoSec's Sentinel technology is a wrapper that works for any container infrastructure,” Turner said. “It collects telemetry across 80 unique application behaviour metrics and sends it to a back end, the NanoSec Software-Defined Controller, which compares it with a behaviour-based whitelist, enabling security teams to act when anomalies are detected.”
According to McAfee, NanoSec will also bolster its cloud workload protection platform, its security for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and CASB technology.
“CASBs have traditionally provided security for the software-as-a-service (SaaS) world, but Ovum has seen various attempts by CASB vendors to push into the burgeoning IaaS and PaaS markets to breathe new life into their product offerings,” Turner added. “McAfee is clearly following that trend.
“Elsewhere, McAfee has sought to realign its portfolio for the cloud with the 2018 launch of its MVISION line, which offers cloud-native versions of McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator for endpoint management, endpoint for endpoint security, and Mobile for mobile security to increase simplicity and ease of management.”