Cyxtera To Spin Out Cybersecurity Practice Into Standalone Company

The new security company will be called AppGate, debut in early 2020, and be led by Mike Aiello, who spent nearly three years directing product management for Google Cloud Platform Security.


Cyxtera has announced plans to separate its cybersecurity business from the rest of its operations, largely undoing a massive rollup that took place in 2017.

The Coral Gables, Fla.-based data center vendor said the new security company will be called AppGate and begin independent operations early in the first quarter of 2020. AppGate will be led by Mike Aiello, who most recently spent nearly three years directing product management for Google Cloud Platform Security.

“Cyxtera has built the most comprehensive solutions for secure access and fraud protection,” Aiello said in a statement. “The team’s deep offensive expertise and defensive capabilities are built for today’s complex, hybrid infrastructure, making things simple for our customers and complex for their adversaries.”

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AppGate will be controlled by private equity firms BC Partners and Medina Capital, meaning that it shares the same ownership structure as the existing Cyxtera business. Cyxtera didn’t immediately respond to a CRN request for additional comment.

The new company will be able to provide customers with a multitude of security and analytics products and services, including: software-defined perimeter offering AppGate SDP; the Total Fraud Protection suite of authentication and digital threat protection tools; the Brainspace digital investigations platform; and the Immunity offense-oriented software and adversary simulation services.

Cyxtera had purchased Immunity in January 2018 and Brainspace in June 2017. A $2.8 billion transaction in May 2017 created Cyxtera by merging CenturyLink’s network of 57 data centers with cybersecurity and data analytics companies Cryptzone, Easy Solutions and Catbird. Cyxtera currently employs 968 people, up 3 percent from 939 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn.

“Customers and partners are looking for a clear leader in the emerging Zero Trust cybersecurity landscape, and we believe the time to accelerate mind and market share is right now,” Cyxtera CEO Manuel Medina said in a statement. “The new company will intensify our efforts in this arena.”

While at Google, Aiello said on LinkedIn that he led and set strategy for the company’s enterprise cloud security products, driving Google Cloud Security from “not in the game” to a “leader” position in strategy, according to Forrester. Prior to joining Google, Aiello spent just over a year as chief information security officer for Goldman Sachs’ Consumer and Commercial Bank.

Cyxtera and AppGate will continue working together even after becoming separate organizations, with AppGate leveraging Cyxtera’s global data center footprint to accelerate deployments and expand as-a-service capabilities. Cyxtera, meanwhile, will provide clients with a cyber-resilient data center platform by integrating AppGate into its ecosystem of capabilities connected via an on-demand marketplace.

All told, AppGate’s products secure more than 1,000 organizations across 40 countries, according to Cyxtera.

Since bringing together a multitude of cybersecurity and analytics companies via M&A, Cyxtera has continued to advance its security capabilities through organic R&D. The company released a new version of its AppGate SDP product in April 2018 to address security compromises caused by over-privileged access, and debuted a managed security tool around AppGate SDP in June 2018.

Cyxtera in March 2019 rolled out a connector for AppGate SDP that secures unmanaged devices, restricts lateral movement, and reduces an organization’s attack surface. And in April 2019, the company enabled multiple Cyxtera anti-fraud products to share intelligence for more effective fraud case management.

The company has 15 employees in its channel organization, 87 channel partners in North America, and 250 channel partners globally, according to the 2019 CRN Channel Chiefs profile. Cyxtera launched a new partner program in September 2017 designed to bring more security technologies or security training programs to its data center co-location partners.