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Microsoft Acquires Cloud Security Start-up CloudKnox

After years of mostly sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft is starting to be aggressive with cybersecurity acquisitions.

The world’s largest software company said Wednesday it would acquire CloudKnox, a Silicon Valley startup that sells tools to help companies manage and secure access to cloud accounts and data.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. CloudKnox, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., raised a total of $22.8 million in venture capital investments since its launch in 2016.

The CloudKnox deal is Microsoft’s fourth cybersecurity acquisition over the last 12 months.  It comes just weeks after Redmond announced plans to purchase threat-intelligence vendor RiskIQ for to lead a push into the attack surface management business.

Last June, Microsoft acquired CyberX to beef up its Azure IOT security capabilities and followed up soon after with a separate deal to buy firmware security security specialist ReFirm Labs.

At Microsoft, security is big business.  The company claims it raked in more than $10 billion in security-related revenues in just 12 months, with most of that coming from “advanced security and compliance offerings” sold to hundreds of thousands of corporate customers.

[ Related: Microsoft to Acquire Threat Intelligence Vendor RiskIQ ]

The newest CloudKnox acquisition gives Microsoft an established vendor in the Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) category.  CloudKnox sells a cloud infrastructure management platform that manages permissions and access within an organisation – regardless of their location. 

According to Joy Chik, corporate vice president in the Microsoft Identity unit, the CloudKnox technology will be used to provide Microsoft Azure Active Directory customers with granular visibility, continuous monitoring and automated remediation for hybrid and multi-cloud permissions. 

Related: CloudKnox Security Raises $12 Million in Funding

Related: Microsoft Acquires Industrial Cybersecurity Company CyberX

Related: CloudKnox Raises $10.8 Million to Help Manage Cloud Privileges

Related: Microsoft Buys ReFirm Labs to Expand IoT Firmware Security Push

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends. Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.