Check Point Acquires Lacoon Mobile Security For Advanced Threat Protection Capabilities

As security threats for mobile devices mount, Check Point Software Technologies has taken another step to expand its network security roots into mobile with the acquisition of Lacoon Mobile Security.

The acquisition is Check Point's second of the year, after it picked up Israel-based advanced threat-detection startup Hyperwise in February. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the Lacoon deal, but an Israeli newspaper cited the purchase price at about $80 million.

Check Point -- which has its U.S. headquarters in San Carlos, Calif., and international headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel -- already has a mobile security offering in Capsule, a solution it launched last year for secure container and document encryption technology. The Lacoon acquisition, revealed Thursday, adds comprehensive advanced threat-protection capabilities to help clients recognize, block and fight back against BYOD threats to Android and iOS using behavior-based, real-time security and intelligence, according to Check Point.

[Related: Partners: Obama's Sanctions Vs. Cyberattacks Is Step In Right Direction]

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As the frequency of mobile threats grows, and as those threats act as a gateway to infiltrating the rest of the network, Check Point President Amnon Bar-Lev said, a focus on providing a comprehensive mobile security solution becomes all the more important. For Check Point, the piece that was missing around mobile security was advanced threat protection focused on mobile devices.

"We are very much focused on threat protection, and we see more and more treats happening -- and much more sophisticated threats. All of us are using mobile devices. ... Clearly we have to change the way we do things [for security]," Bar-Lev said.

Bar-Lev said he believes the acquisition is a huge opportunity for partners to offer more comprehensive solutions around mobile security, instead of just mobile device management.

"This presents partners the opportunity to offer things they didn't offer before, to expand their sales and footprint at a customer site," Bar-Lev said. "This gives a nice business opportunity and value opportunity to the customer."

The acquisition has already raised the bar for the company when it comes to mobile security, Bar-Lev said, identifying hidden, targeted malware in more than half of the beta companies.

"We clearly see this happening," Bar-Lev said. "You might not know it's happening, but it's happening. ... I think the combination of Lacoon together with us scanning all of your networks, it's a very robust and complete security solution."

Lacoon will ultimately be integrated into Check Point's Capsule solution, a process expected to be completed this year, according to the company. In the meantime, partners can purchase it independently through Check Point, starting Friday.

Vid Sista, security and mobility practice director at Houston, Texas-based Accudata Systems, a Check Point partner, agrees that there is a lot of opportunity and growth around the mobile security market, especially as customers are starting to mature in their approach to mobile device management.

"I think the maturity level of the customer is changing so they're really understanding what they need for their particular use case," Sista said. "There is a need and awareness, and more people are focusing on mobile device security, but I think the approach to that security is more focused on, we can't control the device so let's create a sandbox rather than trying to figure out the whole device."

While it is a good move for Check Point to expand its mobile security footprint, Sista said, he expects additional investments or acquisitions will need to be made to improve app-wrapping capabilities and application sandboxing.

"I think it’s a positive thing that they're expanding their security footprint to the mobile device," Sista said. "My concern would be, if this software acquisition is looking at providing a security model that’s looking for threats and malware on the device but our customers are saying they want app wrapping and app sandboxing, it wouldn't necessarily align."

Added Sista: "That’s where I think [that] the mobile device vendors that can get to that nirvana quicker are the ones that are going to gain more market share in that mobile device space."