Acquisitions / Baltimore / Cybersecurity / Federal government / International

Here’s where Maryland played a role in ID Technologies’ acquisition of Columbia-based Attila Security

The cybersecurity company wants to have a presence near talent and government operators at Fort Meade. All team members of Attila Security will join Ashburn, Virginia-based ID Technologies.

Columbia-based cybersecurity company Attila Security has been acquired by ID Technologies in a move designed to grow the Ashburn, Virginia company’s footprint near Fort Meade, and expand the market share for both companies in providing secure remote access for the national security space.

With the deal, Attila’s entire team will join ID Technologies and continue to be based in Maryland. The companies both make hardware and software products, which ID Technologies CEO Chris Oliver called “very complementary.” Leaders plan to combine the two intellectual property and product portfolios into one offering. Terms of the deal, and the number of employees in each company, were not disclosed.

“Together, we will continue to grow both our product portfolio and employment base,” Oliver said.

Attila was founded in 2018, and makes the GoSilent platform, which uses encryption to create a secure link between a device and a server. This enables remote access. It’s a need that has been particularly acute during the pandemic.

“The need for secure remote access solutions that allow government customers to access classified information remotely — that market has exploded as the government workforce has moved off of on-premises environments to virtual workspaces,” Oliver said. “They’ve had a lot of limits in their ability to access classified data.”

It’s a dynamic that led to Attila seeing an uptick in interest from the federal government during 2020. ID Technologies’ product portfolio, called Archon, has seen rising traction, too.

The companies were familiar to each other. Attila CEO Gregg Smith, who has led multiple local cyber and mobile tech companies, has long known members of ID Technologies’ management team; ID Technologies was founded in 1988 and rebranded after being acquired by private equity firm The Acacia Group in 2017. Plus, ID Technologies is a reseller of Attila’s products. When Attila was considering several investment and strategic opportunities as it sought to grow to the next stage, the acquisition with ID Technologies ended up being the best fit. It also presents opportunity to be a “market leader” in enabling federal government remote work, both from the side of the enterprise and the “tactical” sides of work.

Maryland also figured into the agreement. ID Technologies was seeking a presence near Fort Meade, where much of the federal government’s cybersecurity operations are headquartered. Attila’s offices in Columbia are close to the base, and that has been a plus for talent as the company has grown, Smith said.

“Maryland has the best talent to build cybersecurity solutions, bar none,” said Smith, who chairs the board of the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland. “We, over the Attila lifespan, were fortunate to garner great employees directly based in our home state.”

Attila also added local investors to its team along the way. The company was in the portfolio of Fulton-based cyber foundry DataTribe and TEDCO, Maryland’s state-backed agency supporting early stage startups. The latter invested in the company’s seed and Series A rounds. Vienna, Virginia-based Blu Venture Investors and Durham, North Carolina-based Bull City Venture Partners were also investors in the company’s 2020 Series A round.

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