BlueVoyant Acquires Conquest Cyber In Deal That Reshapes Microsoft Security Landscape
Together the two companies -- which both grew at an 80 percent clip over the last year -- provide a single “powerful combination” that will appeal to customers that need to secure Microsoft environments in both the commercial and government sectors, says BlueVoyant CEO Jim Rosenthal.
BlueVoyant CEO Jim Rosenthal (left) and Jeffrey Engle, Chairman and President Conquest Cyber
BlueVoyant, a managed detection and response powerhouse that focuses on securing Microsoft environments , is shaking up the security market with its acquisition of Microsoft government cloud security superstar Conquest Cyber.
The blockbuster deal effectively reshapes the Microsoft security marketplace by combining BlueVoyant’s commercial security prowess as Microsoft US Security Partner of the Year for two years running with Conquest Cyber’s status as the 2022 Microsoft U.S. Defense and Intelligence Partner of the Year. Both companies have their own Security Operations Centers (SOCs), one focused on commercial customers and the other focused on Microsoft government cloud customers.
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Together the two companies- which both grew at an 80 percent clip over the last year- provide a single “powerful combination” that will appeal to customers that need to secure Microsoft environments in both the commercial and government sectors, said BlueVoyant CEO Jim Rosenthal.
“This is a combination of two best in class security operators in the Microsoft universe,” said Rosenthal. “In combination the two of us together will be bringing the Microsoft security stack to more state and local governments than anyone else.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition sets BlueVoyant apart as one of the few Microsoft security focused providers that is able to secure both commercial and government environments, said Rosenthal. Furthermore, he said the deal opens the door to the defense industrial base for BlueVoyant. “That is a very large opportunity,” he said. “There are thousands of enterprises in the defense industrial base. They tend to want to operate in both clouds – some of their business can operate in the commercial cloud and some of it needs to operate in the government cloud.”
In connection with the deal, BlueVoyant has also raised more than $140 million in Series E funding led by existing investors Liberty Strategic Capital, a private equity company, and ISTARI, a cybersecurity inestor and advisor. “They both were so impressed with the value we could create with this deal that they led the Series E financing for us,” said Rosenthal. “It feels terrific. There was no need to go outside our existing investor base because of our investor’s confidence in the value of this deal.”
The deal provides BlueVoyant with a robust cyber security assessment and compliance capability in the form of Conquest Cyber’s ARMED (Adaptive Risk Management Executive Decision support) ATK Platform that identifies “gaps” in security posture of clients. That cyber security risk posture assessment adds a powerful tool to the BlueVoyant security portfolio which also includes supply chain defense and digital brand protection, said Rosenthal. “The combination is something that very few others can do,” said Rosenthal. “Given both of our skills in the Microsoft environment this is a terrific combination for the both of us.”
BlueVoyant, which has 700 employees, adds top security talent with the 100 employees coming on board from Conquest including the top executive team led by Chairman and President Jeffrey Engle who will report to Rosenthal.
BlueVoyant provides Conquest Cyber the ability to “scale” its business with a “channel first” sales model, said Rosenthal. “We strongly believe in a channel first approach to the market,” he said. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to now bring to market two complimentary sets of Microsoft capabilities and cyber-risk maturity capabilities.”
Ultimately, the combination of the two companies represents the dawning of a “new day” for solution providers specializing in Microsoft environments in both commercial, government, defense industrial base and education, said Rosenthal. “The combination of Conquest and Blue Voyant brings excellence in diagnosing gaps in cybersecurity, closing those gaps with Microsoft and other products they might have and operating those products purely as technology or as a service with the level of excellence they need to successfully defend customers.”
Engle, for his part, said the combination of the two companies represents a “seminal moment” in securing Microsoft environments by putting a much needed cyber security assessment tool with ARMED ATK into the hands of more partners and customers.
In fact, Engle said ARMED ATK could go a long way toward solving the cyber security employment crisis with 600,000 unfilled jobs in the US and 3.5 million globally.
“My objective is to eliminate the need for all those additional jobs,” he said. “If we can get our platform out there with the orchestration and automation, we can provide better outcomes for end user clients with our connected tissue with AI, machine learning and a robust channel partner ecosystem. Ultimately that is going to make both the US and our allies globally far more resilient. It is a different way of approaching the problem of not having the necessary cyber-talent.”
The combination of the two companies sets a new bar in the Microsoft security market, said Engle. “We have basically taken two leading security partners that cover independently a pretty large spectrum of capabilities and brought them together so we now have parity between global enterprise and governments, maximizing the value of our underlying technology investments in Microsoft,” he said.
ARMED ATK has been a game changer for customers looking to fill security gaps in their Microsoft environments, said Engle. In fact, he said, more than eighty percent of the time customers are not taking advantage of the security tools they have purchased. What’s more, even when they do take advantage of those tools more than 50 percent of the time those security tools are not configured properly.
“That’s not exclusive to Microsoft,” he said. “It is all security tooling.In most cases when we come into a scenario where a customer has been compromised they had the tools purchased they needed to be able to prevent that compromise but they had not been deployed or properly configured.”
ARMED ATK “fundamentally changes” the security posture of companies who currently instead of “buying concrete are buying sand and dirt and water but they don’t have the connective tissue to bring that foundation together and make it solid,” he said.
The ARMED ATK platform opens customer’s eyes to the thousands of critical vulnerabilities on critical assets that have not been addressed that can “easily be exploited,” said Engle.
ARMED ATK - with its AI capabilities – connects the dots to drive “risk based prescriptive actions” to make customers more resilient against the many threats they are grappling with day in and day out, said Engle. “We provide a common operating picture that tells them where their programmatic gaps are and then drives the right type of investment,”he said.
Engle said he sees a huge high-magin opportunity for partners teaming with BlueVoyant to bring the ARMED ATK platform – which is currently being used by more than 100 customers including the Department of Defenses - to secure Microsoft environments.
“This enables channel partners that are currently systems integrators or solution provides to start to make that transition into recurring revenue at an aggressive pace at higher margins,” he said. “This is a huge opportunity for partners. This is going to allow us to take our capabilities and get it out to the channel. Our platform doesn’t require us to deliver the underlying security operations. “We’ve already got channel partners using our platform to interface with their customers to run the program. Then they augment their customer’s capabilities.”
The ARMED ATK tool also provides a “continuous gap analysis” security capability, said Engle. “Now solution providers are going to be able to cover those gaps, and show the immediate return on investment for the customer and be able to do all that at scale,” he said. “I’m excited to get this out to more channel partners. Because ultimately with the volume of organizations that need this capability there is no way that we are going to be able to get to them all directly nor would we want to. We want to build a robust ecosystem of channel partners that can go to their customers and give them differentiated outcomes.”
Within the defense industrial base alone there are 400,000 customers looking for help securing their environments, said Engle. “The channel opportunity for the enterprise, midmarket and down to the small defense industrial base is hundreds of thousands of organizations,” he said. “There is a (compliance) requirement and an exigent need for those customers to demonstrate they are consistently maintaining compliant, secure programs to protect our national secrets.”
Engle said he anticipates a robust a partner ecosystem for ARMED ATK. “Partners need to get in contact with us to be on the front end as we continue to build out the partner ecosystem,” he said. “We want the channel to lead in the breadth of our activities and we want their feedback on the platform and what we can do to make it more profitable and appetizing for them in the long term.”