Vendor to integrate technology from start-up Zingbox in $75 million acquisition
Palo Alto Networks is gaining increasingly important Internet of Things (IoT) security capabilities with its planned $75 million acquisition of start-up Zingbox, whose cloud-based service leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to secure connected devices and sensors and identify threats.
The Lowdown: The addition of Zingbox will add to the vendor’s growing portfolio of network security offerings, which already includes its K2-Series 5G next-generation firewall designed to protect mobile network service and IoT devices.
The Details: With 5-year-old Zingbox, Palo Alto will inherit a cloud-based service offering available via a subscription model. The vendor will incorporate technologies from Zingbox’s IoT Guardian Platform – the foundation of the start-up’s IoT Command Center – into its next-generation firewall and Cortex platforms to give enterprises greater security of their IoT environments with integrated visibility and automated prevention capabilities.
Cortex is an AI-based open security platform designed to constantly evolve to address changing and sophisticated threats. It includes a data lake, Cortex XDR – which meshes together endpoint, cloud, and network data – and an operational hub for managing and accessing applications.
Zingbox’s IoT Guardian Platform includes asset inventory, risk assessment, and operational intelligence features, as well as an IoT dashboard for security operation centers (SOCs). The IoT Command Center also includes Zingbox’s Inspector appliance that’s deployed on premises. Zingbox, which has raised more than $23 million, focuses on several verticals, including enterprises, health care, industrial, and smart cities.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, after which co-founders Xu Zou, May Wang, and Jianlin Zeng will join Palo Alto. Zingbox’s products will continue to be available after the deal closes.
The Impact: The booming number of connected devices that make up the IoT presents a range of security challenges for enterprises, from the struggle to identify and authenticate what’s on the network and the widely disparate security capabilities built into these often-unmanaged devices themselves to the lack of automated management and updating of those devices. Comprehensive platforms that take advantage of modern capabilities like AI, machine learning, data analytics, and the cloud will help enterprises address many of these challenges.
Background: With tens of billions of smart connected devices expected worldwide in the coming years, it’s no surprise that the IoT security space is growing quickly. MarketsandMarkets is predicting the worldwide market to grow at an annual rate of more than 33%, from $8.2 billion in 2018 to $35.2 billion by 2023.
The Buzz: “The proliferation of IoT devices in enterprises has left customers facing an enormous gap in protection against cybersecurity attacks,” said Palo Alto Chairman and CEO Nikesh Arora. “With the proposed acquisition of Zingbox, we’ll provide a first-of-its-kind subscription for our Next-Generation Firewall and Cortex platforms that gives customers the ability to gain control, visibility, and security of their connected devices at scale.”
“Our vision has always been to ensure that organizations realize the full benefits of IoT devices without sacrificing security,” said Zingbox CEO Xu Zou. “By joining forces with Palo Alto Networks, we’ll be able to secure connected devices at scale to help organizations embrace digital transformation.”