Palo Alto Networks Adds Behavioral Analytics with LightCyber Buy

Palo Alto Networks has announced the acquisition of LightCyber, adding automated and behavioral analytics technology to its Next-Generation Security Platform.

According to the companies, the acquisition will add automated breach prevention capabilities using sophisticated machine learning to efficiently and accurately identify and stop attacks based on behavioral anomalies inside the network. Palo Alto Networks said that bringing behavioral analytics to the platform will enhance its automated threat prevention capabilities and the ability for customer organizations to prevent cyber breaches throughout the entire attack lifecycle. The deal was valued at $105 million.

Palo Alto Networks said that the acquisition of LightCyber “represents another step in our evolution toward delivering a platform at the forefront of the innovation curve” as it “enhances our ability to prevent attacks across the attack lifecycle, especially at the internal reconnaissance and lateral movement stages that are often very important to a successful attack.”

Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks, added: “The LightCyber team’s vision to bring automation and machine learning to bear in addressing the very difficult task of identifying otherwise undetected and often very sophisticated attacks inside the network is well-aligned with our platform approach.

“This technology will complement the existing automated threat prevention capabilities of our platform to help organizations not only improve but also scale their security protections to prevent cyber breaches.”

Rik Turner, senior analyst in Ovum's IT Security and Technology team, told Infosecurity that at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco, “you couldn't move for machine learning/AI.”

He said: “I guess the acquisition makes sense in that Palo Alto Networks’ NGFW and the endpoint stuff they got with the Cyvera buy can be informed by LightCyber, and serve as enforcement points based on the information. LightCyber should also add future data to their cloud-based threat intelligence service.”

Andrew Kellett, principal analyst for infrastructure solutions at Ovum, said: “Conversations we have had recently with established players in this space have centered on the lack of ML/BA technology maturity in new entrants, and therefore buying in that maturity with the right ML/BA acquisition could be seen as a good way of moving things along or improving what you already have. “ 

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