10 Companies McAfee Could Acquire Now That It's Independent Of Intel

On The Acquisition Trail

With a new name and the close of its split from Intel behind it, McAfee says it will now look to make moves in the market to expand its portfolio. In an interview with CRN, CEO Chris Young (pictured) said McAfee will have "available to us all option" as it looks to build out its portfolio, including building, partnering, and buying products. When it comes to acquisitions, Young declined to say exactly where McAfee will look to make purchases, saying only that the company plans to "have a broad portfolio." CRN spoke with analysts and partners about what areas could make sense for McAfee to make some acquisitions, including around cloud, endpoint, and security analytics. Here are ten companies they speculated McAfee could buy in the months to come.

Attivo Networks

One of the interesting emerging areas of security that McAfee could look to make a play in is deception technology, said Mark Miller, vice president of sales South Central for M&S Technologies, a Kudelski Security company.

Attivo Networks is one of the fastest growing companies in the space, offering a deception technology to detect, investigate and help remediate attacks already inside the network. The company already has a technology partnership with McAfee to integrate its technology with the company's Intel Networks Security Platform (NSP). Miller suggested illusive networks as another company in this space that McAfee could look to buy.


On other side of the next-generation endpoint security market, McAfee could look to bolster its endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities with the purchase of a smaller company in the space like Cybereason. While McAfee already has offerings in this area, partners and analysts said an EDR acquisition could help add more innovations to this area of the portfolio. Cybereason, founded by former members of the Israeli defense forces, uses sensors on endpoints and servers to detect attacks that have gotten past perimeter protections using machine learning and behavioral analytics. The company also offers response tools, including forensics, live intelligence feeds, and active monitoring.


McAfee's Young has said that the next phase of the company's strategy includes investment around orchestration, with security-as-service and analytics. With that in mind, McAfee could look to buy one of the up-and-coming orchestration and automation startups, such as Demisto. The startup offers and integrated platform for threat intelligence, automation, orchestration and investigation. The company's investors include multiple former McAfee executives, including Cylance CEO Stuart McClure (formerly EVP and worldwide CTO for McAfee) and Symantec President Michael Fey (formerly EVP and CTO at McAfee). Other companies McAfee could look to buy in this space include Phantom and Hexadite, both of which offer competitive platforms.

Device Authority

Partners and analysts also said McAfee could look to expand its portfolio around the Internet of Things. One company McAfee could look to in that space is Device Authority, which offers a way for companies to handle the massive influx of IoT devices, with capabilities for automated device provisioning, credential management, secure updates, and policy-driven data encryption. With those capabilities, the company says you can build end-to-end controls over IoT devices. The company is already partnered with Intel through the company's IoT Solutions Alliance.


McAfee CEO Young said he was particularly excited about the opportunities posed by security analytics and the company's growing intelligence security operations center offerings. McAfee could look to bolster those offerings further through acquisition, picking up a user behavior analytics company like Exabeam. The acquisition of Exabeam could also help McAfee bolster its long-standing SIEM offering, as Exabeam moves to disrupt the legacy SIEM market with the launch earlier this year of a next-generation SIEM offering it calls the Exabeam Security Intelligence Platform.


While it would be a larger buy for McAfee with $234 million in annual sales, Imperva could add further capabilities for the company around data and application security, with solutions to protect the cloud, websites, files, databases and big data repositories. Imperva has reportedly been seeking suitors for acquisition in the past. However, the company did recently sell off its Skyfence CASB solution to Forcepoint, which partners and analysts agreed could be a market that McAfee could look to for acquisitions.


McAfee could look to follow in Symantec and other vendors' acquisition footsteps, picking up a cloud access security broker (CASB) company to bolster its cloud security portfolio. Netskope is one of the few remaining standalone CASB vendors in the space, offering a platform for governance of all cloud usage across an enterprise and adding security capabilities such as DLP, policy enforcement, advanced threat protection, third-party security integrations, and more. Doug Cahill, senior analyst for cybersecurity at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said a buy in the CASB space "could make sense" for McAfee's strategy going forward as it would be complementary to existing offerings. Another company McAfee could look to buy in this space is Skyhigh Networks, which is the other major standalone CASB company.


Another company that McAfee could buy if it was looking to boost its security analytics capabilities is Securonix, which offers a platform for user behavior analytics. The platform uses machine learning and behavioral analytics to spot anomalies across hosts, network and applications, identify privileged account misuse, and allow for data-driven analysis, investigation, and controls. These capabilities help boost security analytics capabilities around identity and access management, data exfiltration, network security, application security, privileged account access, big data security, threat analytics, continuous risk monitoring, compliance, and more, the company says.


Partners and analysts agreed that it could make a lot of sense for McAfee to build on its strong heritage in the endpoint security market with the purchase of next-generation endpoint security company. M&S Technologies' Miller said a company like SentinelOne, which offers solution that uses machine learning and behavioral analytics for threat protection across endpoints and servers, could be a good fit as it offers an innovative technology and is still smaller than some of its next-generation endpoint security company peers. McAfee has already been looking to leverage a lot of next-generation endpoint security capabilities on its own, most notably in its Endpoint 10.5 release, but Miller said an acquisition in this area could help McAfee speed up its innovation cycle even further.


Tanium's peer-to-peer technology lets organizations continuously scan all endpoints in a network to detect vulnerabilities and unmanaged devices. The technology is important as companies look to ramp up their security and management of endpoint devices, which Tanium helps discover and secure. Tanium secured part of its significant rounds of financing from TPG Capital, which will now own a 51 percent stake in McAfee, and could prove an interesting acquisition target for the vendor to help bolster its endpoint security strategy. Tanium, however, would also be an expensive buy, with its latest round of funding valuing it at around $3.5 billion.