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Attack Surface Lockdown: Palo Alto Networks To Buy Expanse For $800M

“By integrating Expanse‘s attack surface management capabilities into Cortex after closing, we will be able to offer the first solution that combines the outside view of an organization’s attack surface with an inside view to proactively address all security threats,” Palo Alto Networks Chairman and CEO Nikesh Arora said in a statement. “We believe this will be a game-changer in security operations.“

Palo Alto Networks has agreed to purchase attack surface management vendor Expanse for $800 million to gain visibility into exposed and untracked assets in the customers‘ ecosystem.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based platform security vendor said its proposed blockbuster acquisition of San Francisco-based Expanse will allow customer CISOs to see their organization in the same way an attacker does when probing for points of weakness. Palo Alto Networks will spend $670 million in cash and stock as well as $130 million in replacement equity awards to carry out the acquisition of Expanse.

“By integrating Expanse‘s attack surface management capabilities into Cortex after closing, we will be able to offer the first solution that combines the outside view of an organization’s attack surface with an inside view to proactively address all security threats,” Palo Alto Networks Chairman and CEO Nikesh Arora said in a statement. “We believe this will be a game-changer in security operations.“

[Related: Palo Alto Networks To Acquire IR Firm The Crypsis Group For $265M]

The acquisition is expected to close by Jan. 31, 2021, and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Palo Alto Networks’ stock remains unchanged at $242.72 per share in pre-market trading Wednesday.

Expanse was founded in 2012, employs 186 people and has raised $136 million in four rounds of outside funding, most recently completing a $70 million Series C round in April 2019 led by TPG, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. Both of Expanse’s co-founders – CEO Tim Junio and Chief Technology Officer Matt Kraning – will join Palo Alto Networks, according to the company.

“The world‘s largest and most complex organizations trust Expanse to continuously discover, inventory, monitor, and report against their dynamically changing attack surface,” Junio said in a statement. “Matt and I look forward to joining forces with Palo Alto Networks to help secure the internet for enterprises and governments around the world.“

The company earlier this month snagged longtime Carbon Black business and corporate development boss Tom Barsi to lead Expanse’s business development and channel teams. Barsi reunited with former Carbon Black Americas sales leader Kane Lightowler, who started as Expanse’s chief revenue officer in August. Expanse wants to transact 100 percent of its commercial business through partners, Barsi said.

Expanse‘s collection and attribution platform constantly monitors the global internet to map exposed and untracked assets, evaluate and prioritize risk, and provide mitigation, according to Palo Alto Networks. Adding Expanse will make it possible for Palo Alto Networks to provide customers with a complete, integrated view of their organization by stitching together external, internal and threat data.

Digital transformation initiatives have left businesses with critical IT assets exposed to the internet, which Palo Alto Networks said has created vulnerable points that attackers can exploit. This exposure has only accelerated with the rapid shift to the cloud and remote working, according to Palo Alto Networks.

Expanse customers include Fortune 500 organizations in the financial, healthcare, entertainment and technology industries as well as mission-critical government organizations, including the U.S. military. Barsi said in early November that Expanse has identified and signed a select number of committed reseller and MSSP partners who the company aims to go deep with in the upcoming months.

Including the proposed Expanse deal, Palo Alto Networks has spent $3.3 billion on 11 acquisitions since the start of 2018. Some of the larger transactions include: the $560 million buy of analytics and automation vendor Demisto in February 2019; the $420 million buy of SD-WAN player CloudGenix in March 2020; and the $410 million purchase of container security startup Tiwstlock in May 2019.

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