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Symantec Buys Startup Luminate Security To Aid Application Defense

Symantec said its acquisition of Luminate will make it easier to deliver private secure application access, granting user connections only to the specific applications and resources for which they are authorized.

Symantec has purchased Luminate Security to better protect users around workloads and applications regardless of where they're deployed or what infrastructure they're accessed through.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based platform security vendor said its acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based cybersecurity startup Luminate Security will make it possible to deliver private secure application access, granting user connections only to the specific applications and resources for which they are authorized.

More and more companies are operating their business on infrastructure that is managed by multiple third parties such as Azure, AWS and Google, according to Symantec President and CEO Greg Clark. Secure and private access are a cornerstone of cyber defense, said Clark, who is looking forward to delivering Luminate's unique capabilities to customers.

[Related: Duo Sales Leader Departs For Startup Following Cisco Acquisition Bid]

"In this rapidly evolving world, trust in external infrastructure must be carefully considered as corporations can outsource infrastructure but must also remain responsible for data and users," Clark said in a statement. "Luminate incorporated into Symantec's Integrated Cyber Defense puts us at the forefront of security in the cloud era."

Symantec said its Integrated Cyber Defense Platform unifies cloud and on-premises security across endpoints, networks, email and cloud, protecting against the most sophisticated threats while reducing cost and complexity. This allows companies and users to have frictionless access to cloud and on-premises applications while still providing best-of-breed security protection, according to Symantec.

"As corporate applications continue to move to the cloud, IT organizations need innovative approaches to address the complexity and security challenges of providing users anywhere, anytime access," Art Gilliland, Symantec's EVP and GM of enterprise products, said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Symantec's stock was up nearly 3 percent to $23.09 in trading Wednesday morning.

Luminate Security was founded in 2017, employs 39 people, and has raised $14 million in two rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company in August reeled in Duo Security sales leader Jason Stutt to serve as its first-ever senior vice president of global sales and help Luminate scale its operations in North America.

"As a partner, our integrations with Symantec were successful in reducing complexity and increasing security for joint customers," Ofer Smadari, Luminate Security CEO, said in a statement. "With this next step, we look forward to fully integrating across the entire portfolio and delivering even more innovation to offer complete security for the Cloud Generation."

Luminate Security emerged from stealth in March 2018 with a Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners to expand its operations in the United States and develop its channels and customer base. In April 2018, Luminate announced general availability of its platform, which provides secure access to corporate applications in hybrid cloud environments.

The Luminate platform provides employees with a consistent, cloud-native experience around any corporate application regardless of where it's hosted, the device being used, or where the worker is located. All user activities are examined against company policies, triggering automatic actions to ensure security is being enforced and to prevent unauthorized access.

Symantec has made 72 acquisitions over its 37-year history, according to Crunchbase. The company's most recent acquisitions were of Appthority and Javelin Networks in November 2018 to strengthen the company's defense against mobile application attacks and boost its protection around Microsoft Active Directory-based threats.

One Luminate Security partner who didn't wish to be identified said the deal will provide Symantec with a very clear and unique offering, but will challenge the Luminate team to maintain its mindset, energy and capabilities within a much larger company.

"It is a challenging process to integrate and merge into a very big company," the partner said. "But it doesn’t mean it's impossible."

The partner encouraged Symantec to keep Luminate as a standalone operation and maintain the company's product and brand. If the acquisition preserves Luminate's expertise and create opportunities for solution providers to cross-sell the Luminate offering into Symantec's legacy customer base, it'll be a win-win for the channel, according to the partner.

"Don't mix Luminate with the bigger company. Keep them small and with their familiar development team," the partner said. "Just let them work as they are."

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