Security Experts:

Palo Alto Networks Acquires Breach Detection Startup LightCyber

Palo Alto Networks on Tuesday announced that it has acquired breach detection firm LightCyber for $105 million in cash.

The network security company said that LightCyber’s machine learning, behavioral analytics platform will be integrated into Palo Alto’s Next-Generation Security Platform to help customers better detect breaches throughout the entire attack lifecycle. 

LightCyber has raised more than $32 million in funding since being founded in 2011.

Palo Alto Networks LogoLightCyber’s platform doesn’t look at a specific packet or field to detect possible malicious activity, but instead detects attacks by identifying suspicious behavior inside the network.

“We look at the behavior. This means that every file access and every protocol could be used as an attack indication - even were it alright under a different context,” Gonen Fink, CEO of LightCyber, explained to SecurityWeek back in March 2013.  “What we do is model each computer and user separately, and maintain those models over time. Everything we do is based on history we gather from the network.”

"This technology will complement the existing automated threat prevention capabilities of our platform to help organizations not only improve but also scale their security protections to prevent cyber breaches,” Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks, said in a statement.

The technology integration is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year, Palo Alto said.

In a 2013 interview with SecurityWeek, LightCyber's Fink told us that his favorite startup (other than his own) was a company called Cyvera. Ironically, Palo Alto Networks also acquired that company in early 2014.

In addition to announcing the acquisition, Palo Alto on Tuesday announced that total revenue for the fiscal second quarter 2017 came in at $422.6 million, compared with total revenue of $334.7 million for the fiscal second quarter 20106—a 26 percent increase year over year. These figures fell short of Wall Street expectations, sparking shares of the company (NYSE:PANW) to plummet more than 20 percent in after-hours trading.

"While fiscal second quarter revenue of $423 million was yet another record for the company, we were disappointed that we came in below top-line expectations due to some execution challenges, which we are moving quickly to address," McLaughlin said.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.