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Proofpoint spends $284m to acquire email security leader

20 Feb 2018

Proofpoint will hand over US$225 million (AU$284 million) as part of a deal that will help the company continue its journey into the phishing prevention sector.

Earlier this month the company agreed to acquire Wombat Security Technologies, a company that was founded on research into phishing attacks.

According to Proofpoint, the acquisition will ultimately benefit customers who will be able to use data from current phishing campaigns and gain access to cybersecurity education for end users.

“As cyber criminals increasingly target companies through their employees, enterprises need to ensure they have the most effective security in place to enable employees to identify and avoid attacks that blend in with the way people work today,” the company says in a statement.

Proofpoint will work to launch an integrated solution for corporate email, SaaS applications and other communication forms in the first half of 2018.

Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele adds that threat actors will target employees because they are the weakest link. As a result, organisations must continuously train their employees and provide real-time threat data.

“The acquisition of Wombat gives us greater ability to help protect our customers from today’s people-centric cyberattacks, as cybercriminals look for new ways to exploit the human factor. We are thrilled to welcome Wombat’s employees to the Proofpoint team,” he explains.

Proofpoint will also leverage Wombat’s PhishAlarm solution by collecting user-reported phishing threat data. The company believes this method will amplify its intelligence by including data from non-Proofpoint customers and providing broader visibility.

“Cybercriminals didn’t slow down in 2017. In fact, they showed us how tactical and targeted they can be. The continued proliferation of phishing and malware, new attacks via SaaS platforms, and the significant rise in damaging email fraud attacks all underscore the need to educate and empower end users,” explains Wombat Security CEO Joe Ferrara.

As part of its 2018 security predictions, Wombat noted that email phishing attacks will remain the most common attack vectors. Although the volume of phishing emails may decrease, their sophisticated nature will still claim uneducated users.

In Wombat’s 2017 State of the Phish Report, 61 percent of infosec professionals reported experiencing spear phishing attacks. 

Ferrara says that the company looks forward to continuing its work with Proofpoint.

Proofpoint expects the Wombat acquisition will add between US$30-32 million to its revenue range and will increase the free cashflow range by $2 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

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