The Cloud

Symantec Acquires Israeli Startup Fireglass

Symantec CEO Greg Clark said ‘browser isolation’ will be a core component of cyber defense in the cloud-based world.
William SprouseJuly 6, 2017
Symantec Acquires Israeli Startup Fireglass

Cybersecurity giant Symantec announced on Thursday that it has reached a deal to buy browser isolation firm Fireglass for an undisclosed sum. The Israeli cybersecurity startup specializes in a technology that creates virtual websites that allow users to browse content while preventing ransomware, malware, phishing threats, and other potentially harmful content from ever reaching user endpoints or the corporate network.

Symantec CEO Greg Clark said isolation technology would become a core component of cyber defense for the cloud generation. “While it’s what I would call a ‘tuck-in’ acquisition, it will be very valuable to us as we bring it to our customers,” he said.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Symantec said it would make Fireglass’s technology available to its customers soon after that.

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Fireglass was founded in Tel Aviv in 2014. It raised, reportedly, $20 million early last year. Investors included Norwest and Lightspeed. It has about 40 employees.

Symantec has not been shy about acquisitions in recent months. The company acquired Lifelock for $2.3 billion earlier this year and Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in 2015.

In a statement, Clark said integrating Fireglass’ isolation technology with Symantec’s existing products could reduce security events by as much as 70%. He said it could “virtually eliminate” threats spread by web browsing or email content.

Clark said Symentec also wanted to expand its presence in Israel, a cyber hub that attracts about 20% of private global cybersecurity investment.

Last month Microsoft agreed to buy U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity company Hexadite for an undisclosed sum.

Clark said Symantec has been looking to enter the browser-isolation market for some time. In an interview with Reuters, he cited research that projected 50% of enterprises would adopt the technology by 2021. He said health-care companies, financial institutions, governments, and telecommunications firms have been early adopters.