F5 To Acquire Cloud Security Vendor Threat Stack For $68M

F5 said its application insights and controls combined with Threat Stack’s proactive risk identification and threat detection will allow applications to detect and mitigate threats in real time.


F5 has agreed to buy cloud security company Threat Stack to enhance visibility across application infrastructure and workloads and adopt consistent security in the cloud.

The Seattle-based application security and delivery vendor said its proposed purchase of Boston-based Threat Stack will provide customers with real-time threat detection for cloud infrastructure and workloads. Threat Stack’s proactive risk identification and threat detection combined with F5’s application insights and controls will allow applications to detect and mitigate threats in real time.

“Applications are the backbone of today’s modern businesses, and protecting them is mission critical for our customers,” Haiyan Song, F5’s executive vice president of security, said in a statement. “Threat Stack brings technology and talent that will strengthen F5’s security capabilities and further our adaptive applications vision with broader cloud observability and actionable security insights for customers.”

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[Related: F5 Networks Closes $500M Volterra Deal To Further Edge Expertise]

F5 will pay $68 million to acquire Threat Stack, and the transaction is expected to add $15 million in revenue without any change to the company’s previously stated operating margin targets during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2021, and F5 declined to make executives available to additional comment.

The company’s stock is down $2.39 (1.17 percent) to $202.19 per share in morning trading. F5’s proposed acquisition of Threat Stack was announced shortly before the market opened Monday.

Threat Stack was founded in 2012, employs 105 people, and has raised $72.3 million in six rounds of outside funding. The company most recently closed a $45 million Series C funding round in September 2017 led by F-Prime Capital Partners and Eight Roads Ventures.

The company has been led since May 2015 by Brian Ahern, who had previously founded, led, and sold automation system management vendor Industrial Defender to Lockheed Martin. A F5 spokesperson told CRN Ahern will join the company once the acquisition closes, though Ahern wasn’t quoted or mentioned in the press release about the acquisition itself.

Applications are a focal point for cybercriminals, F5 said, with attacks, fraud, and disrupted customer experiences costing businesses more than $100 billion a year. Digital experiences are increasingly powered by applications distributed across multiple environments and deeply connected through APIs, according to F5.

This significantly expands potential entry points for attackers and requires greater visibility and context to identify and neutralize threats, F5 said. Organizations face the daunting challenge of accelerating digital innovation to stay competitive while mitigating a widening range of sophisticated adversaries and threats, according to F5.

Threat Stack works with resellers such as Optiv, Atlantic Data Security, Level, Tevora and VLCM to guide customers through digital transformations, according to the company’s website. The company prides itself on being an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Technology Partner with a Security and Container Competency, and said it also supports Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The company said its deep integration with AWS provides customers with unprecedented visibility, more advanced security capabilities, and a cloud-native user experience. Threat Stack also works with technology partners like Puppet, Chef, Docker, Kubernetes, Slack, Splunk and Sumo Logic to help customers integrate security into their Dev and Ops processes and streamline their tech requirements.

The Threat Stack transaction comes eight months after the company bought Volterra for $500 million to build a secure and scalable edge platform for enterprises and service providers. F5 in 2019 bought Shape Security for $1 billion to protect customers from automated attacks, botnets, and targeted fraud and purchased NGINX for $670 million to help companies deliver faster, more compelling digital experiences.