Security Experts:

VMware to Acquire Network Security Company Lastline

VMware on Thursday announced that it’s acquiring network security company Lastline for its research team and threat detection technology.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in VMware’s second quarter (Q2 FY2021 ends on July 31), were not disclosed.

Lastline has developed an AI-powered network detection and response platform designed to neutralize threats before they can cause disruption. It claims its products help protect 20 million users across thousands of organizations, including 5 of the top 10 financial institutions.

Lastline is also known for its research team, which the company says includes four of the world’s most published security researchers. The firm also noted that its team includes 15 PhDs.

While VMware has praised Lastline employees, TechCrunch has learned that the virtualization giant actually plans on laying off roughly 50 people from Lastline following the acquisition — this represents 40% of the company's staff. Neither Lastline nor VMware confirmed the reports.

VMware said Lastline employees will join the team that builds its NSX network and security virtualization platform.

“VMware NSX has deep visibility into network traffic, touching every packet. The NSX architecture will allow Lastline to perform network analytics at massive scale, across tens of thousands of cores, without the burden of tapping network traffic. Furthermore, NSX has an intrinsic understanding of application topology and speaks Layer 7. So it knows the difference between a web server and a database and understands what an application is doing,” explained Tom Gillis, SVP and GM of VMware’s networking and security unit.

“We will combine this context with the deep understanding of the host provided by Carbon Black. Lastline malware analysis will become a critical feed for our Carbon Black EDR and NGAV platform, which currently helps secure more than 10 million endpoints and workloads around the globe. And the combination of NSX plus Carbon Black will also allow the Lastline algorithms to analyze a particular interaction with greater workload context,” Gillis added.

VMware announced last month that it acquired Kubernetes security company Octarine.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.