Privacy, security & risk

McAfee acquires CSG / CASB vendor SkyHigh Networks – two years too late?

Andras Cser
Vice President, Principal Analyst
November 27, 2017

In the light of large network security vendors (Cisco, Palo Alto, Symantec, Zscaler, etc.) acquiring or building Cloud Security Gateway (CSG, also known CASB) vendors, it comes as little to no surprise that McAfee also invested in this area. In Forrester’s estimates, SkyHigh annual revenues were around USD $40-45 million/year. Looking at similar deals, Forrester estimates that the acquisition price could have been around 7-9 times annual revenues, yielding an acquisition price of USD $300-400M.
How McAfee will be able to capitalize on this acquisition depends on the following:

  1. Ability to provide last mile integration with existing network security solutions
  2. Scalable SkyHigh cloud DLP integration with existing McAfee DLP beyond ICAP
  3. Investing in SkyHigh’s CSG capabilities (encryption, DLP, investigation, anomalous activity detection) beyond unsanctioned (“shadow”) cloud application (IT) detection
  4. Using the McAfee endpoint protection agent for CSG/CASB purposed, especially threat detection, DLP and encryption support
  5. McAfee ePO integration to support a cloud security product line
  6. Keeping SkyHigh applicable to non-McAfee security solutions
  7. Preventing further attrition of SkyHigh personnel: Forrester saw some Venture Capitalist hesitation in trusting SkyHigh in the past 18-24 months mainly due to key personnel leaving

McAfee seems to be doubling down (again) on DLP, cloud security and endpoint security. McAfee has to accelerate its security revenue growth, so turning SkyHigh quickly into a revenue generator is going to be of paramount importance – McAfee is two years late to the game (Elastica was acquired two years ago by BlueCoat/Symantec).

 

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