Israel’s CyberArk inks deal to buy US cybersecurity firm for $1.54 billion

CyberArk says the acquisition will add machine identity protection solutions to its security arsenal and expand its addressable market by almost $10 billion

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Israeli cybersecurity firm CyberArk's headquarters and R&D center in Petah Tikva. (Courtesy)
Israeli cybersecurity firm CyberArk's headquarters and R&D center in Petah Tikva. (Courtesy)

Israel’s CyberArk has inked an agreement to snap up US cybersecurity firm Venafi in a cash and share deal worth $1.54 billion.

As part of the deal, CyberArk will pay $1 billion in cash and about $540 million in shares to buy the provider of machine identity protection solutions from private equity investment firm Thomas Bravo.

Traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange since 2014 with a market cap of over $10 billion, CyberArk specializes in identity security and in protecting privileged accounts on corporate servers against external attackers and malicious insiders.

The cybersecurity market continues to face new challenges with the fast emergence and adoption of AI-powered tools and software by businesses and organizations as they move to cloud services and hybrid working environments, which in turn has expanded their threat landscape and attack surface.

All this has created an explosion of identities by people, whether they are employees, third-party users, or customers, using many devices to connect to a network. In parallel, the digital transformation and the ongoing migration to cloud services have led to an increase in the use of non-human applications or identities, such as machines, bots, and workloads.

The number of machines is rapidly outpacing the growth in their human counterparts, with more than 40 machine identities for every human identity, which if left unprotected, serve as a hunting ground for cybercriminals, CyberArk said.

CyberArk staff and Nasdaq officials celebrate the company’s IPO in June 2014 (Photo credit: Courtesy)

With the acquisition of Venafi, CyberArk seeks to expand its security arsenal as more businesses need to keep their machine-to-machine connections and communications safe.

“This acquisition marks a pivotal milestone for CyberArk, enabling us to further our vision to secure every identity – human and machine – with the right level of privilege controls,” said CyberArk CEO Matt Cohen. “By combining forces with Venafi, we are expanding our abilities to secure machine identities in a cloud-first, GenAI, post-quantum world.”

“Our integrated technologies, capabilities and expertise will address the needs of global enterprises and empower Chief Information Security Officers to defend against increasingly sophisticated attacks that leverage human and machine identities as part of the attack chain,” Cohen added.

CyberArk said that Venafi’s complementary security solutions will expand its total addressable market by almost $10 billion to about $60 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, clearances, and other customary closing conditions.

Founded in 1999, CyberArk has more than 3,000 employees globally, of which about 1,000 work at the firm’s headquarters in Petach Tikva and R&D center in the southern city of Beersheva. The firm’s customers include over 8,000 global corporations, of which over 50 percent are Fortune 500 companies.

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