Security Company Buying Binge Predicted To Continue

Big companies such as Cisco Systems and Lockheed Martin consider cybersecurity to be top strategic sales priorities.

So will venture-backed startups benefit as these corporations look for new products and technologies? Allegis Capital founder Robert Ackerman believes the answer is yes.

Ackerman (pictured here) points to at least 10 venture-back companies that have been acquired in the past 100 days as buyers large and small went shopping. He predicts more deals will follow and says many will receive premium valuations because of the strategic needs of the acquirers.

Security is becoming the fourth leg of the IT stool after computing, communications and storage, Ackerman says.

He could be right. In the years since 9/11, cybersecurity breaches have become greater threats. Yet businesses treat vulnerabilities with less urgency than they might or addressed them in a piecemeal fashion. There are signs this is changing

In August, Gartner pointed to security software as one of the fastest growing areas of the enterprise software market. It projected security software revenue worldwide would climb 11% this year to $16.5 billion.

Vendors appear to recognize the shift. Intel in August announced its $7.7 billion purchased of McAfee, a deal we could debate the merits of ad infinitum. But the point was made. Security is a fundamental need and filling it a fundamental opportunity.

The opportunity could spill over into venture. Ackerman says a total of 16 acquisitions were announced in the past 100 days, including the McAfee deal, with a value of more than $10 billion.

Among the 10 or so venture-backed companies involved in the deal making are BigFix, Narus, SMobile Systems, ArcSight, Sunbelt Software, Enable Software, tenCube, Arbor Networks, Arcot Systems and TriCipher. The space is heating up, he says.

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