Webroot Expands Network Security, IoT Capabilities With Acquisition Of CyberFlow Analytics

Webroot is expanding its next-generation security capabilities toward the network, saying Monday that it plans to acquire machine learning analytics company CyberFlow Analytics.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CyberFlow, based in San Diego, is a network behavior analytics company with an offering called FlowScape for MSSPs and customers to use analytics and machine learning to detect anomalies and threats on the network, including around the Internet of Things.

[Related: Sophos Extends Next-Generation Endpoint Security Capabilities With Intercept X Launch]

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Broomfield, Colo.-based Webroot focuses primarily on the next-generation endpoint security and threat intelligence markets, both of which are rapidly gaining steam. However, Chat Bacher, senior vice president of product strategy and technology alliances, said Webroot recognized that the company needed to expand its offerings to meet emerging network threat vectors around connected devices and the Internet of Things.

’As we look at the markets and explosion of new devices and attack vectors, we looked at it as a need to evolve along with that,’ Bacher said.

Webroot has already been working to plant a stake in the Internet of Things security market, unveiling last year the launch of an IoT security toolkit and the appointment of John Sirrianni as vice president of IoT strategic partnerships.

As the market for next-generation endpoint security continues to heat up, top companies have started to make acquisitions to expand their offerings and differentiate themselves against their competition, with the most recent example being Carbon Black’s July acquisition of next-generation antivirus company Confer. Bacher said the Confer acquisition was an example of EDR companies looking to add prevention capabilities, markets he said Webroot already had footholds in. He said the CyberFlow acquisition will allow the company to extend beyond those two markets and differentiate itself.

’From our perspective, this will allow us to leapfrog into the future. … Our feeling is we have been there for a number of years, and we are looking at where we need to go into the future. We felt as though the right direction to go was this direction,’ Bacher said.

Webroot will fully integrate the CyberFlow technology into its technology, Bacher said, starting with threat intelligence integration and then integrating it with Webroot’s endpoint security technology offerings. Partners can expect that integration to start rolling out in 2017, he said. For now, the product is available through a pilot program as a custom integration, the company said.

Tom Caldwell, who had served as co-founder and president at CyberFlow and will now serve as senior director of software engineering at Webroot, said the two technologies make ’perfect sense’ and will ’work better together.’ Caldwell particularly highlighted CyberFlow’s machine learning and analytics for east-west network traffic, where Webroot primarily focuses on north-south traffic.

Caldwell said all eight CyberFlow employees will join the Webroot team. That includes Caldwell himself and the company’s other co-founder, Hossein Eslambolchi, and CEO Steve Nye.

Stephen Brooks, president and CEO of Penn Systems Group, a Newtown Square, Pa.-based Webroot partner, said he is ’pleased’ with the strategy Webroot has been on, although said he hopes the company continues to invest in its endpoint security solution, particularly around ransomware capabilities.

’We are happy at this point with Webroot,’ Brooks said. Bacher said Webroot will continue to invest in its endpoint capabilities, as well as the network, going forward.