Armis, a provider of a service through which organizations can discover devices connected to their networks and assess the level of risk they represent, has been acquired by Insight Partners for $1.1 billion in cash.
Company CTO Nadir Izrael said the funding will be used to both expand the global reach of the service and drive the development of applications that will further analyze the data Armis collects on behalf of customers.
The Armis service is based on an agentless architecture that employs algorithms to profile devices that are connected to various customer networks. Once those devices are profiled, Izrael said it becomes possible for Armis to instantly recognize whenever one of those devices is connected to another network. In effect, Armis is crowdsourcing data about different devices to enable IT organizations to track assets that are becoming more diverse with each passing day, he said.
That data can also be used to send alerts about devices being connected to the network that are known to have “backdoors” that could potentially be exploited by government agencies, added Izrael. In fact, Armis reports in the last year it has seen a 300% increase in cybersecurity attacks aimed at different classes of devices.
Before long, Izrael said there will be as many as 100 million different types of devices connected to networks all running different types of firmware and operating system software. Only a relatively small number of those devices will be laptops and servers that IT organizations can deploy agent software on, he said, noting it’s simply not feasible to create a single agent that works equally well on a million different types of devices.
Izrael said the funding from Insight also creates an opportunity to financially “refuel” Armis as it continues to move toward being a public company. In addition, Armis will allocate a significant portion of the funding it has gained to expanding the scope of its sales and marketing efforts. Existing Armis customers include Allergan, Mondelēz, Oracle and Sysco Foods.
Armis is riding the wave of convergence that is now starting to occur as operation technology (OT) an information technology (IT) systems converge, Izrael said. The challenge most organizations face, however, is most of them simply don’t have a full inventory of all the devices connected across far-flung networks.
It may be difficult to imagine any startup cybersecurity company being valued at more than $1 billion. However, Gartner forecasts by the end of 2021 there will be 25 billion connected devices. Armis is betting that 90% of those devices will be unmanaged. As such, the number of organizations that need to find a better way to manage devices connected to their networks is likely to number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
Of course, Armis is unlikely to be the only company aiming to fill the current unmanaged device fjord. However, with a valuation in excess of $1 billion, Armis is likely to be in a much better position to take on any rival that is likely to emerge.