HelpSystems Buys Email Security Firm Agari To Thwart Phishing

HelpSystems says its acquisition of Foster City, Calif.-based Agari will help businesses detect, defend against, and respond to email attacks through the user of data sets, data science and cloud computing.


HelpSystems has purchased Agari to assist in protecting customers against phishing, business email compromise and other advanced email-based threats.

The Minneapolis-based software vendor said its acquisition of Foster City, Calif.-based Agari will help businesses detect, defend against, and respond to email attacks through the user of data sets, data science and cloud computing. HelpSystems said it has enhanced its data security suite this year through three acquisitions that help address today’s complex security environment and increased cybercrime.

“Cybercriminals increasingly use email as a prime way to infiltrate businesses and gain access to sensitive data and IP, causing untold damage in terms of cost and reputation,” HelpSystems CEO Kate Bolseth said in a statement. “Agari will be a notable asset to HelpSystems as we work together to give global customers new tools for securing their valuable data and achieving peace of mind.”

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[Related: Email Security Firm Agari Unveils New Channel Execs, Partner Program]

Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed, and HelpSystems didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment. The Agari acquisition comes just two days after HelpSystems bought Roseville, Calif.-based vulnerability assessment vendor Beyond Security, and three months after the company purchased San Antonio-based threat management company Digital Defense.

Agari was founded in 2009, employs 178 people, and has raised $84.7 million through six rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company most recently closed a Goldman Sachs-led $40 million Series E funding round in June 2018.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our customers to provide the first line of defense against phishing attacks, and we can now introduce them to a host of complementary solutions to address gaps in all aspects of their security posture,” Agari Founder and CEO Patrick Peterson said in a statement.

Agari was a founding member of the industry group that developed the Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) email authentication standard, which enables organizations to authenticate email from their domains to stop cybercriminals from impersonating their brand. This helps organizations protect their customers and partners from email attacks, according to HelpSystems.

The company recently switched up its chief marketing officer after Armen Najarian left in January to take over as CMO for RSA’s fraud and risk intelligence practice. Najarian was replaced by Fortanix Vice President of Marketing Seth Knox, who had previously overseen Agari’s marketing division between June 2016 and September 2019.

Najarian said June 2019 that Agari’s secure email cloud is uniquely positioned to protect companies from new and different attack types stemming from the migration of email and messaging to the cloud. Agari’s automated, hosted tool has been adopted by many Fortune 1000 companies, and the company’s primary competitor based on the breadth of its product portfolio is Proofpoint, according to Najarian.

Agari’s channel sales organization has been led since August 2018 by Tracy Pallas, who had prior to that spent nearly three years as global channel chief for Illusive Networks. The company rolled out the Agari Partner Power Program upon Pallas’ arrival, which separated solution providers into elite, premier and select tiers based on the revenue and resource commitments the partner had made to Agari.

The company grew its partner base in the United States by 19 percent in 2020, and those new solution providers accounted for 28 percent of Agari’s overall channel revenue last year, said Pallas’ 2021 CRN Channel Chiefs profile. Seven Agari partners adopted the company’s advanced phishing assessment methodology last year, which can be embedded inside a broader assessment and pen testing service.