Symantec Buys Two Firms For Mobile Security, Active Directory Defense


Symantec has purchased Appthority and Javelin Networks to strengthen its defense against mobile application attacks and boost its protection around Microsoft Active Directory-based threats.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based platform security vendor said the acquisitions of San Francisco-based Appthority and Austin, Texas-based Javelin Networks will further enhance Symantec's ability to protect the broadest spectrum of modern endpoints and operating systems.

Appthority will make it possible for Symantec customers to analyze mobile applications for both malicious capabilities as well as unsafe or unwanted behaviors such as vulnerabilities, risk of sensitive data loss, or privacy-invasive actions. The company was founded in 2011, employs 35 people, and has raised $25.3 million in four rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase.

[Related: Symantec CEO: Our Endpoint Security Is More Effective Than Our Peers]

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The company's technology will be built into Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile, making Symantec the only company to protect modern and traditional Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android endpoints at the device, application, network, identity and cloud layers. Buying Appthority will help Symantec combine mobile app analysis and mobile threat defense to enhance overall security and workflow.

"Mobile apps are a critical threat vector that every company must address to protect their enterprise security," Adi Sharabani, Symantec SVP, Modern OS Security, said in a statement. "The Appthority technology extends SEP (Symantec Endpoint Protection) Mobile's capabilities in limiting unwanted app behaviors, supporting regulatory compliance, and assessing vulnerabilities."

Javelin Networks, meanwhile, can detect Active Directory misconfigurations and backdoors, and help prevent Active Directory reconnaissance and credentials misuse by authorized devices and applications. The company was founded in 2014, employs 21 people, and has raised $5 million in two rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase.

Active Directory services have become an increasingly popular target for attackers, who use the reconnaissance features to discover the users, servers and computers in an enterprise network and then move laterally across the network. Javelin Networks' software protect Active Directory and commonly-used domain resources, including domain controllers, domain identities, and domain credentials.

"The addition of Javelin Networks … gives Symantec customers a unique advantage in one of the most vulnerable and critical areas of IT infrastructure," Javed Hasan, Symantec's SVP of endpoint and data center products, said in a statement. "More importantly, it can help expose exploitable backdoors in AD (Active Directory) and stop attacks at the point of breach while preventing lateral movement."

Symantec's stock is up 2.05 percent to $19.90 in trading Monday morning. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed, and Symantec did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

This is Symantec's first acquisition since buying VPN browser security application SurfEasy in November 2017. Symantec carried out five transactions in 2017 – highlighted by its $250 million purchase of agentless isolation provider Fireglass - but failed to make a single acquisition in the first 10 months of 2018.

Symantec must focus on fully integrating the Appthority and Javelin Networks capabilities into the company's existing cloud management platform, according to Marc Harrison, president of Marlboro, N.J.-based solution provider Silicon East. Doing this successfully will make it possible for channel partners to manage the entire Symantec security suite from a single interface.