Columbia-based cybersecurity company Tenable said Wednesday that it has an agreement to acquire French firm Alsid SAS for $98 million.
Paris-based Alsid, which was founded by former French National Cybersecurity Agency incident responders Emmanuel Gras and Luc Delsalle, specializes in security for Active Directory. That’s a Microsoft tool that connects users with a business’ network resources. In turn, it allows administrators to manage access and permissions for that network, effectively regulating what different accounts can do. Alsid’s product is designed to continuously detect potential new attack pathways within Active Directory, and detect attacks as they are happening.
As 2020 continues to reverberate, Active Directory is gaining more attention in the cybersecurity realm. It’s an area that Tenable CEO Amit Yoran said is being exploited by attackers in major breaches, including the recent SolarWinds attack that has set off shockwaves in the national security community. Yoran said that CISOs are also more concerned about protecting the digital identity of users amid the pandemic-inflected shifts to remote work.
“When you shift to the cloud, when you migrate to work from home there are fewer control points than you had when you were operating within a corporate building,” Yoran said Wednesday during a virtual discussion of the acquisition at the 2021 Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. “In those types of environments, identity and authentication and all of the things around the user become incredible important. That’s where we feel the ability to audit, assess and provide active monitoring for Active Directory and Active Directory services is a very integral part of understanding cyber exposure and managing cyber risk.”
With the deal, Alsid’s cofounders will join Tenable in senior leadership roles. The deal is expected to close early in the second quarter, and is subject to regulatory approvals.
Startup communities track exits carefully, though in most cases it is because locally based companies are getting bought. In this case, its acquisition further cements Tenable’s place as one of the region’s mature tech companies. Tenable has previously turned to M&A to add security tools that focus on protecting specific technologies. The publicly traded company acquired operational technology security firm Indegy in 2019. FlawCheck, which it acquired in 2016, added docker container security.
Yoran characterized the latest acquisition as a “natural expansion” of its vulnerability management capabilities for its customer base, which includes more than 30,000 government orgs and enterprise businesses.
Tenable has posted growth amid the pandemic. The company reported last month that it signed more than 460 new enterprise customers in the fourth quarter of 2020, and overall 2020 revenue was up 24% over the prior year.