HelpSystems Buys Data Loss Prevention Player Digital Guardian

‘In order for us to compete better, we needed to broaden our capabilities of what we could bring to our customers. We needed to be part of something bigger in order to develop what our customers want,’ says Digital Guardian’s Connie Stack.


HelpSystems has purchased data loss prevention pioneer Digital Guardian to help midmarket and enterprise customers better protect data found on endpoints.

The Minneapolis-based cybersecurity and automation software provider said its acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based Digital Guardian will strengthen HelpSystems’ data security portfolio and provide more managed service capabilities around endpoint, network and cloud data loss prevention. Connie Stack will lead the Digital Guardian business going forward, with CEO Mordecai Rosen leaving the company,

“Digital Guardian is an amazing company,” HelpSystems Chief Marketing Officer Mike Devine told CRN. “It’s got a fantastic product and great people, so the acquisition was a no brainer for us.”

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Digital Guardian was founded in 2003 and has long been one of the leaders in the data loss prevention (DLP) market alongside Symantec, McAfee Enterprise and Forcepoint. But large enterprise customers have increasingly been asking Digital Guardian to do more and extend its capabilities beyond DLP as they look to consolidate the number of vendors in their security stack, according to Stack.

“In order for us to compete better, we needed to broaden our capabilities of what we could bring to our customers,” Stack told CRN. “We needed to be part of something bigger in order to develop what our customers want.”

Stack will become managing director of Digital Guardian when Rosen – who has served as CEO since February 2019 – leaves the company at the end of the year. Except for Rosen and two other executives, all 400 of Digital Guardian’s employees are joining HelpSystems. Terms of the acquisition aren’t being disclosed, and HelpSystems plans to continue using the Digital Guardian brand name going forward.

HelpSystems plans to bring Digital Guardian together with its existing data security technology in 2022 to create a unified platform experience that strips out a massive amount of redundant alerting, dashboards and workflows, said John Grancarich, HelpSystems’ vice president of product and growth strategy. This should help reduce operational overhead for customers of both companies, he said.

“There’s enormous complexity in the market right now,” Grancarich said.

Digital Guardian Is well-positioned to protect data residing on endpoints, networks and cloud across Windows, Mac and Linux environments, allowing HelpSystems to better support customers with a hybrid operating environment, Grancarich said.

“Endpoint DLP was a big need for us, and we saw Digital Guardian as the best-in-class solution on the market,” Grancarich said. “What we used to call the perimeter is gone. If you’re not at the endpoint today, you’re missing a piece of the security puzzle.”

As far as go-to-market is concerned, the HelpSystems technology will be made available to Digital Guardian partners for cross-sell and vice versa, Devine said. Customers today are being buried in complexity and alerts, and Stack said the combination of HelpSystems and Digital Guardian will be able to deliver more from a security perspective as well as manage it on the customer’s behalf.

“There’s a level of excitement,” Stack said. “Sales teams love having more arrows in the quiver. There’s so much we can offer our customers.”

Going forward, Devine said the company is focused primarily on continuing to grow the Digital Guardian business by making the technology available to HelpSystems’ much larger community of partners and customers. HelpSystems has tens of thousands of customers and was historically strong in the midmarket space, while Digital Guardian has roughly 1,000 customers predominantly in the large enterprise.

“We’re really excited about this,” Devine said. “I think Digital Guardian is a great match.”