HelpSystems Acquires Agari and Beyond Security

HelpSystems this week acquired both Beyond Security, a provider of a cloud-based service for scanning applications for network and network or application vulnerabilities, and Agari, a provider of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that employs data science to help combat social engineering and phishing attacks.

Those deals come on the heels of the acquisition of Digital Defense, a threat assessment and vulnerability management platform, made last month. Those acquisitions are being fueled in part by a recent round of unspecified investments in the company made by several venture capital firms. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

John Grancarich, vice president of product strategy for HelpSystems, said the company is expanding its existing portfolio of data, identity access management and infrastructure security offerings to make them easier to consume at a more affordable cost. The more security tools and services an organization employs, the greater their overall security maturity tends to be, which Grancarich noted increases the probability an organization will be able to identify and thwart potential threats.

The acquisitions come at a time when many organizations are looking to reduce the total cost of cybersecurity by reducing the number of vendors they need to engage. HelpSystems, via these acquisitions, is rolling up a number of platforms that will become more integrated over time. It also puts HelpSystems in a better position to leverage future investments in machine learning algorithms and other forms artificial intelligence (AI) across all those platforms, noted Grancarich.

In general, Grancarich said many cybersecurity teams are at risk of burning out as the number of platforms that needed to be investigated increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to supporting end users working from home, there are also now more workloads running both in the cloud and at the edge that need to be protected. Unfortunately, the number of attacks aimed at all those platforms has increased dramatically, as cybercriminals leverage automation to simultaneously launch more attacks than ever. At the same time, the attacks themselves are becoming more sophisticated, both in terms of how they are constructed and the lethality of the malware they contain.

Whenever possible, cybersecurity teams should focus on automation to maximize investments in cybersecurity and to reduce security staff turnover, said Grancarich. Hiring and retaining cybersecurity expertise will remain a challenge, but the more rote tasks that cybersecurity teams manually perform the more likely it becomes they will tire of their work, he noted.

There is, of course, no such thing as perfect security, but the more difficult it is to compromise an IT environment the greater the chance cybercriminals will focus their efforts on easier targets, noted Grancarich. The best way to achieve that goal is to focus on cybersecurity fundamentals to make sure there are no easy targets for cybercriminals to exploit, he added.

It’s too early to say how many other smaller cybersecurity companies might be acquired in the months ahead. However, as it becomes more apparent that a modern approach to cybersecurity requires a full portfolio of tools, it’s apparent HelpSystems – with the help of some outside funding – has decided to go big, rather than go home.

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Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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