Cloud Security Heats up as Sourcefire Pays $21M for Immunet
Sourcefire, a publicly-traded network security company famous for its open source network intrusion detection system called Snort, has acquired cloud-based security startup Immunet for $21 million in cash.
It’s an impressive win for Immunet’s CEO Oliver Friedrichs, a serial entrepreneur who helped found several old-world security companies like SecurityFocus, which was bought by Symantec in 2002, and Secure Networks, which was acquired by McAfee. Immunet only raised one round, a series A of about $2 million, led by Altos Ventures. Clearly, the company was onto something.
The deal may be small, but it could be a precursor to more deals in 2011, a year that a lot of people expect to finally — FINALLY — see dramatic innovation in business software. Immunet’s product represents a dramatic new way of detecting malware in an industry that has mostly stagnated among a few large, slow growing players. It uses collective user intelligence and technologies like machine learning to detect and thwart a new kind of threats cloud-based enterprises face.
That’s important because security is one of the biggest reasons companies are loathe to turn all their business units over to the cloud. The company paid $17 million of the deal at closing, and will pay $4 million over the next 18 months as Immunet delivers on product milestones for its enterprise version, currently in production.