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Email remains the most significant cyber security threat companies face today, which is reflected in a burst of recent M&A activity in this space. Both email security and related security awareness training solution providers are being snapped up left and right, some for hefty price tags. Let’s take a quick look at just a few very recent examples:

  1. Thoma Bravo announced their intent to acquire ProofPoint, a well-known provider of legacy Secure Email Gateway technology, for $12.3 Billion. This is the single largest acquisition of a cyber security company to date.
  2. Cofense, a security training and awareness company, purchased Cyberfish to add advanced, API-driven email security capabilities to its offering.
  3. KnowBe4, a large and highly regarded security training and awareness company, recently went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange, raising $175M in just a matter of days.

What is the common thread in all these recent activities? We feel it is confirmation that customers want advanced email protection with integrated security training & awareness functionality built in.

Why is this combination of capabilities important?

  1. Cyber criminals have moved away from malware-based email attacks (Nigerian Prince, anyone?) to unleashing billions upon billions of more advanced attacks like Business Email Compromise, Account Takeover, VIP impersonation, Credential Harvesting using fake landing pages and more. Legacy technologies like the Secure Email Gateway (ala Proofpoint) struggle to keep up with this new generation of attacks. Private Equity has traditionally focused on extracting maximum value from legacy technologies rather than making investments in product innovation. This trend appears to hold true with the Thoma Bravo acquisition of ProofPoint – the SEG has seen its day come and go, having been passed up by a new generation of AI-driven, cloud-based, API-connected email security solutions.
  2. The era of technology consolidation is well underway in the security technology space. CISOs are looking for ways to reduce their technology stack while at the same time maintaining or improving their defenses. Being able to purchase a single solution that provides both the defense against advanced email threats and the integrated security awareness training is a huge win for security leaders. And CISOs can make this choice with confidence, as Gartner validated this approach in a recent report.
  3. And while we’re on the topic of security awareness training, the KnowBe4 IPO leaves no doubt that customers continue to purchase this capability in droves. No matter what email security technology is in place, the employee remains the last line of defense against email attacks. While the methods of testing and training have evolved over time, the need for this capability remains as strong today as it has been since security training programs began many years ago.

What’s the takeaway from these three big market activities? In summary, customers recognize the need to defend against email-based attacks, want to do so with advanced email security solutions that leverage the power of AI/ML and they want security awareness training and awareness baked into the service as well so that they don’t have to go find separate providers to meet both their email defense and training needs.

At IRONSCALES, we do both. In fact, we have been doing both for years now - and we hear every single day from our customers that they are so happy we do. This approach, while new to so many other security companies, has been our strategy all along. While other email security companies are trying to fill product gaps through acquisitions and integrations, our focus is on continuing to innovate our solution to provide our customers with the absolute best email security solution available. We work hard every single day to ensure that our powerfully simple anti-phishing service is fast to deploy, easy to use and protects our customers against today’s most dangerous phishing threats.

For more information about our award-winning, analyst-recognized email security solution, please visit www.ironscales.com today.

Eyal Benishti
Post by Eyal Benishti
April 28, 2021