Acquisitions / Cybersecurity / Startups

Federal Hill cybersecurity firm RedOwl acquired by Forcepoint

Forcepoint, which is owned by Raytheon, said the companies aligned over a people-centered approach to cybersecurity. The combined companies will maintain a Baltimore office.

Inside the Federal Hill offices of RedOwl Analytics. (Photo courtesy of MDBizNews)
There’s some big exit news for Baltimore’s cybersecurity community this week.

Federal Hill–based RedOwl was acquired by Forcepoint, a cyber company owned by major defense contractor Raytheon. With the deal, RedOwl’s technology will be known as Forcepoint UEBA, and will be integrated into Austin, Texas–based Forcepoint’s products. Officials said the deal has already closed, and terms were not disclosed.
RedOwl’s analytics platform is designed to protect against insider threats to data breaches — whether accidental or malicious. The technology “directly aligns” with Forcepoint because it focuses on analyzing the activities and behaviors of people around sensitive data, as opposed to technology, according to a blog post on the deal from Forcepoint senior vice president and general manager of data and insider threat security Heath Thompson.
“Since 2011, RedOwl has been the only [user and behavior entity analytics technology] that specifically monitors and provides visibility into the cyber activity of people,” Thompson wrote. “With this acquisition, we can now ingest multiple data sources — including structured and unstructured data — whether that’s from databases, Workday (HR), Salesforce, or other widely used applications and programs, and draw correlations that legacy [Data Loss Prevention] wouldn’t let you do.”
Founded by CEO Guy Filipelli, Renny McPherson and Les Craig, RedOwl consistently attracted attention as it grew its office two floors below Betamore, won the much-watched Innovation Sandbox competition at RSA in 2014 and attracted big-name investors. Along the way, Filipelli spoke of his desire to make an impact in Baltimore, even as it also grew in New York, San Francisco and London. (He called it a “great day” for the city in a LinkedIn post announcing the deal.) An Army veteran, Filippelli is one of a budding group of Baltimore entrepreneurs building startups following time in federal agencies.
“With Forcepoint, our platform will become part of a suite that enables companies to build world class human-centric security platforms, our entire team will transition into a global organization with tremendous growth opportunities for each employee and our current customers will feel the force of an entire enterprise of technologies and people to accelerate the delivery of mission-critical capabilities,” Filippelli wrote in a post announcing the deal.
While the number of employees who will join Forcepoint weren’t released, RedOwl team members will continue to work out of the Federal Hill office, Forcepoint Director of Communications Liem Nguyen said.
Team members will be integrated to positions across the company, Nguyen said. Filippelli and other members of the product team will now report to Thompson.
The RedOwl deal comes amid expansion for Forcepoint. It’s the company’s third acquisition in the last two years.
Investors in RedOwl included Kevin Plank–backed Sagamore Ventures, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, BlackstoneAllegis Capital, Propel Baltimore Fund and TCP Capital Ventures.


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