Microsoft Confirms Acquisition Of Security Automation Firm Hexadite

Microsoft Thursday said it has reached a deal to acquire Hexadite, a cybersecurity startup offering a security orchestration and automation platform.

The acquisition confirms a report in May that Microsoft was planning to acquire the Boston-based company.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Hexadite Launches Partner Program, Names Former Carbonite Exec Couto As Channel Chief]

Microsoft did not disclose the terms of the acquisition agreement. The May report had put the acquisition price for the company at $100 million.

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Hexadite's platform uses artificial intelligence technologies to investigate and respond to security alerts. The company's investors include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, TenEleven and YL Ventures, with its most recent funding coming from an $8 million Series A round in February, 2016.

Microsoft said the acquisition will help improve detection and response to attacks for commercial Windows 10 users. Hexadite's AI-based technology will be added into Microsoft's Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, the company said.

"Hexadite’s technology and talent will augment our existing capabilities and enable our ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft’s robust enterprise security offerings," said Terry Myerson, executive vice president for the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, in a statement.

The acquisition is part of a broader push by the Redmond, Wash.-based company to "deliver a new generation of security capabilities" in the wake of the "constantly evolving" cybersecurity threat landscape, Myerson said.

Microsoft said in January that it will continue investing $1 billion into security research and development on an annual basis.

The strategy has included previous acquisitions of security companies, such as data protection company Secure Islands and cloud security company Adallom in recent years.

Hexadite, which was founded in 2014, had recently been pushing to increase its channel efforts with the launch of its first partner program in April. The company hired Jessica Couto, formerly the head of the channel program at Carbonite, as its channel chief at the same time.

Microsoft said it plans to strengthen its Advanced Threat Protection offering with AI-based automatic investigation and remediation from Hexadite, "making response and remediation faster and more effective," the company said. That will include endpoint security automated remediation, Microsoft said.