Looking for a way to measure your employees’ cybersecurity acumen? A growing Pittsburgh company can now help you do that.
Email cloud security and backup provider firm Hornetsecurity announced this week that it had acquired IT-Seal, a German company specializing in cybersecurity awareness training. A press release noted that this acquisition is the most recent in a series of them over the past few years by Hornetsecurity, which took on Spamina in 2019, EveryCloud in 2020 and both Altaro and Zerospam in 2021. Financial details of the IT-Seal acquisition were not available.
Hornetsecurity focuses on providing security, data loss prevention and compliance solutions as they pertain to the Microsoft 365 environment. Founded in 2007, it hold headquarters in Bakery Square and is one of the most prominent cybersecurity firms in Pittsburgh. The company reports that it operates 17 offices and nine data centers across the globe, with over 50,000 organizations using its services, and operates headquarters in Hanover, Germany.
IT-Seal’s business centers on the use of its proprietary security awareness indicator, the Employee Security Index, which provides insight into security awareness measurements at the individual level. With that, IT-Seal can assess employees at any given company for their security skills and awareness and improve them as needed with relevant trainings.
“We are certain that [IT-Seal] is a perfect addition to our portfolio. It’s a strategic acquisition that helps enhance and extend our position as a leading provider of security, data loss prevention and compliance solutions,” Hornetsecurity CEO Daniel Hofmann told Technical.ly via email. “We always stress the importance of cybersecurity awareness and in fact, an important aspect of our organization is that we provide a wealth of informative and educational blog posts, ebooks, webinars and reports. With IT-Seal as part of the group, we will now provide IT security training as part of our package. This way, we can cover all aspects of the awareness-prevention-detection cycle, alongside our established email security and backup and recovery solutions.”
"We can cover all aspects of the awareness-prevention-detection cycle, alongside our established email security and backup and recovery solutions."
Prior to the acquisition, Hofmann noted, Hornetsecurity had over 350 employees across all of its offices. This deal pushed that number to over 400, with 20 currently working out of Hornetsecurity’s US offices in Pittsburgh and Raleigh. He added that he expects that number to grow to 30 in the near future. Those new roles will be available across several departments in the company, but currently, Hornetsecurity has needs in sales, product development and software engineering. IT-Seal’s three cofounders — David Kelm, Alex Wyllie and Yannic Ambach — will continue working for Hornetsecurity following finalization of the acquisition.
“We are proud to be considered one of the most successful German cybersecurity start-ups. This acquisition is the perfect next step in our journey,” Kelm said in a statement. “Forming part of the Hornetsecurity Group will extend our services’ reach in the global B2B community, introducing our security training services to companies and organizations of all sizes and in all industries. This is in line with our mission to enable IT security managers to train their employees individually and reliably through our award-winning automation engine and easy-to-use workflow so that they can protect their company.”
Hofmann echoed these sentiments, underscoring the increasing complexity of cybersecurity tech and products, even when they’re catered to consumers. With IT-Seal’s products on board, Hornetsecurity will now have a way of understanding the cybersecurity needs of each firm it works with on an employee-to-employee basis, he said.
As for why Hornetsecurity has continued to maintain an active presence in Pittsburgh despite acquiring a number of international companies? Hofmann’s reasoning aligns with what so many other local founders have expressed.
“Pittsburgh proved attractive to the group as it is a hub of universities and academic institutions that focus on computer sciences,” he said. “Each location in our group has something different to offer and a globalized organization like ours allows us to maximize on that, while contributing to the community through exciting vacancies that enable all our team members to continue growing and developing.”
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.