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FireEye Buys Cybersecurity Automation Firm Respond Software For $186M

The acquisition of Respond Software will allow customers to more quickly identify the signals of an attack, understand their adversary and respond quickly to stop an attack before it’s too late.

FireEye has purchased cybersecurity investigation automation startup Respond Software to deliver extended detection and response capabilities to a broader set of customers.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based platform security vendor said adding Mountain View, Calif.-based Respond Software’s cloud-native artificial intelligence platform to its Mandiant Advantage platform will allow for automating investigations at machine speed. The $186 million deal closed Wednesday, and is expected to boost FireEye’s billings and revenue while not impacting non-GAAP operating income next year.

“With Mandiant’s position on the front lines, we know what to look for in an attack, and Respond’s cloud-based machine learning productizes our expertise to deliver faster outcomes and protect more customers,” FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said in a statement. “This creates a learning system with new capabilities that will enable us to expand our Mandiant portfolio and drive new XDR revenue.”

[Related: 10 Things You Need To Know About The $250M FireEye-Verodin Deal]

The company’s stock is up $2.57 (18.05 percent) to $16.81 per share in after-hours trading Thursday, which is the highest the company’s stock has traded since Jan. 17, 2020. FireEye also announced that Blackstone and ClearSky made a $400 million strategic investment in the company via shares valued at $18 each to help create the industry’s leading intelligence-led cybersecurity platform and services firm.

Respond Software was founded in 2016, and employs 43 people with deep expertise in data science, security operations and SaaS software, FireEye said. The company has more than 150 customers in financial services, energy, retail and government, FireEye said. Respond Software has raised $32 million in outside funding, closing a $20 million Series B round led by ClearSky in May 2019, Crunchbase said.

“Coupled with Mandiant’s world-class threat intelligence and incident response expertise feeding our models, customers can be confident the most up-to-date and relevant attack tactics and techniques are recognized and appropriately escalated,” Respond Software CEO Mike Armistead said in a statement. “This results in more coverage, faster resolution of incidents, and ultimately, less risk at lower cost.”

Armistead added that Respond’s product dramatically reduces the time spent investigating false positives by connecting the dots among siloed, multi-vendor security controls. Respond makes it possible for businesses to investigate more alerts at a deeper level for a much smaller cost than existing processes and tools, according to Armistead.

The firm’s flagship Respond Analyst tool automates the correlation of multi-sourced attack evidence using cloud-based data science models that ingest data from a comprehensive set of security tools, thereby accelerating cyber investigation and response. The Respond technology brings vendor-agnostic detection, response and investigation capabilities that integrate with any customer environment.

Respond Analyst uses a proprietary intelligent decision engine to make better decisions faster without the expensive security engineering and professional services required of most security operations tools, FireEye said. Combining Respond and Mandiant will allow customers to more quickly identify the signals of an attack, understand their adversary and respond quickly to stop an attack before it’s too late.

“By adding the Respond Software XDR Engine to Mandiant Advantage … we are enabling our customers to augment and automate their security teams with our intelligence and expertise,” Phil Montgomery, FireEye’s senior vice president of solution and product marketing, wrote in a blog post. “It’s like having a machine-based Mandiant Analyst integrated into their security program to manage Level 1 SOC actions.”

Respond’s technology will additionally be used to speed response times and provide better security outcomes for Mandiant Managed Defense customers while scaling existing Managed Defense resources to protect more customers, FireEye said. Respond will allow FireEye to offer Managed Defense with third-party products while additionally creating opportunities for new managed services, the firm said.

This is FireEye’s third acquisition in the past two years. The company purchased security instrumentation startup Verodin for $250 million in May 2019 and cloud security vendor Cloudvisory for $13.5 million in cash and debt in January 2020.

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