Forcepoint acquires RedOwl to make security all about people

The company says that the security industry needs to ensure clients fully understand risks to enterprise systems.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Forcepoint has acquired RedOwl in a deal aimed at helping enterprise clients understand cyberthreats and risks to their businesses.


On Tuesday, the cybersecurity firm said that RedOwl is a suitable fit as both companies wish to focus on the human element of cybersecurity -- namely, ensuring understanding and placing people at the center of decision-making.

"Cloud, mobility and ever-changing infrastructure makes the traditional perimeter a fallacy; by focusing on how, when, where and why people interact with critical data and IP, organizations can more effectively identify and address risk," Forcepoint says.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

RedOwl's user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) technology are of particular interest. The analytics and behavioral platform captures Big Data, threat events, suspicious activity, and behavioral anomalies, in order to impart understanding to operators of how these threats work and where they come from, as well as what needs to be done to maintain security and regulatory requirements.

Forcepoint wants to take advantage of UEBA by integrating this technology with behavioral analytics, data, devices, applications and the firm's own Forcepoint DLP and Forcepoint Insider Threat technologies which revolve around understanding and responding to the intent and behaviors of people.

In a blog post, Heath Thompson, SVP and GM of Data and Insider Threat Security at Forcepoint said, "people are the new perimeter" of security, and UEBA has a part to play in protecting businesses against modern-day threats.

"If sensitive data is being accessed during the middle of the night, the human-centric analytics can determine whether the employee in question is on a business trip to Asia, and the access to sensitive data is just happening during her working hours while away from the office," Thompson said. "However, maybe that employee is at home but had her credentials compromised, and there is no easy explanation for accessing information at 3:30 in the morning."

"With RedOwl, a customer could use employee travel status as an input source to the analytics system -- providing a level of insight to know the difference between a real attack or a false alarm," the executive added.

As part of the deal, RedOwl's solutions portfolio and the team are joining Forcepoint as part of the Data and Insider Threat Security business.

RedOwl's solutions have been renamed Forcepoint UEBA Standard and Forcepoint UEBA Regulatory Surveillance and can be purchased from today.

"The world has fundamentally changed and the way we think about security must change, as well. If the cybersecurity industry fails to put people at the center, it is certain to fall short in helping customers protect their most vital assets," said Matthew Moynahan, Forcepoint CEO. "Forcepoint is absolutely committed to empowering customers with human-centric security systems, and RedOwl fits squarely into this promise."

In February, Forcepoint acquired Skyfence from Imperva in a deal worth roughly $40 million. The company said the deal played a "pivotal role" in Forcepoint's plans to "deliver cybersecurity systems that help customers understand peoples' behaviors and intent as they interact with data and IP wherever it may reside."

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