US firm to acquire Israeli cybersecurity company Guardicore for $600m

Akamai Technologies announces definitive deal to buy Israeli company in move to provide solutions against ransomware

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

Guardicore founders from right: Dror Sal'ee, Pavel Gurvich and Ariel Zeitlin. (Courtesy)
Guardicore founders from right: Dror Sal'ee, Pavel Gurvich and Ariel Zeitlin. (Courtesy)

Akamai Technologies, a public US cybersecurity firm traded on the Nasdaq, is set to acquire Israeli cybersecurity startup Guardicore for roughly $600 million, according to a joint announcement Wednesday.

Akamai said the move will position the company, which reported revenue of $3.2 billion in 2020, to provide comprehensive solutions against malware and ransomware to enterprise customers.

Guardicore was founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Pavel Gurvich, Dror Sal’ee, and Ariel Zeitlin. The company has raised over $100 million to date with investors such as Battery Ventures, 83North, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Cisco Investments and Qumra Capital.

The Tel Aviv-based company develops cybersecurity solutions for cloud and hybrid cloud data center environments to stop advanced threats such as malware and ransomware in real-time through detection and response. It offers “micro-segmentation” strategies to limit user access to only those applications that are authorized to communicate with each other, so as to minimize potential breaches.

Guardicore says its solutions enable “deep visibility into application flows, across data center and cloud applications, allowing businesses to more granularly understand and protect their infrastructure, from the core of the enterprise to the cloud.” Breaches are detected early so “corrective actions can be taken as quickly as possible,” the company adds.

“Given the recent surge in ransomware attacks and increasingly stringent compliance regulations, investing in technologies to reduce the spread of malware has become mission-critical,” said Tom Leighton, Akamai Technologies co-founder and CEO, in a company statement.

By adding Guardicore’s solutions, “we believe Akamai will be able to provide the most effective way to combat ransomware on the market today.”

Ransomware attacks, in which hackers employ encryption to deny a victim access to their data until they pay a ransom, have surged in recent years, nearly doubling in the first half of 2021. Hackers have targeted universities and other educational institutions, infrastructure companies, insurance corporations, and others so far this year.

In March, attackers who breached the networks of Taiwanese electronics giant Acer asked for what is considered the highest ransom demand so far in the industry — $50 million.

Gurvich, who serves as CEO of Guardicore, said the company’s mission “is to protect enterprises from damage caused by breaches, like ransomware, while safeguarding the critical assets at the heart of the network.”

“The customer is able to reduce risk in a holistic way across all products, managing from a single console, versus many products and machines. My team and I greatly look forward to joining Akamai to protect the user and the enterprise — no matter what the user is doing or where end-users and workloads are located,” he added.

The transaction is set to be finalized later this year, Akamai Technologies said.

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