Forcepoint acquires Skyfence in cloud security push

The deal aims to give Forcepoint customers a clearer view as to how their data is stored and distributed in the cloud -- and how secure it really is.

Imperva has agreed to sell the Skyfence business to Forcepoint in a deal designed to improve Forcepoint's cloud security and IP protections portfolio.

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Austin, Texas-based Forcepoint announced the buyout on Wednesday.

According to a SEC filing, the deal is worth approximately $40 million in cash.

The company says the agreement "plays a pivotal role" in Forcepoint's business strategy to "deliver cybersecurity systems that help customers understand peoples' behaviors and intent as they interact with data and IP wherever it may reside, including fast-growing cloud applications."

Skyfence, acquired by Imperva in 2014 for $60 million, is a cloud access security broker (CASB) which offers services to corporations seeking ways to protect intellectual property as well as adhere to data protection standards enforced by organizations such as the European Union, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) -- US legislation designed to protect investors from fraudulent accounting activities.

In order to assist businesses in this manner, Skyfence provides software and solutions for increased visibility into cloud servers and cloud applications such as Dropbox, Salesforce apps, NetSuite and Microsoft Office 365. By analyzing content and employee activities in the cloud, the enterprise is granted the chance to prevent malicious, unauthorized, or unintentional data leaks.

When the deal closes, Skyfence technologies will be added to Forcepoint's web security and data loss prevention (DLP) portfolio and the firm's employees will join the Forcepoint team but will continue to be based in Israel.

Forcepoint says the merger will also give "customers greater flexibility in deploying web security via on-premise, hybrid, and cloud-based solutions."

"As cloud applications become more pervasive, customers are trying to strike a balance between the benefits these services offer and the risks that exist," said Kris Lamb, general manager of the Cloud Security business at Forcepoint. "Integrating Skyfence with Forcepoint's cloud security platform will offer the best of both worlds."

"Businesses will feel comfortable providing the productivity benefits cloud services offer, while not jeopardizing the security of critical data and improving their overall governance and compliance posture," Lamb added.

The acquisition is subject to closing conditions and is expected to be finalized during the first quarter of 2017.