Final week, one other container safety startup got here off the board when Rapid7 bought Alcide for $50 million. The acquisition is a part of a broader development through which bigger corporations are shopping for up cloud-native safety startups at a speedy clip. However why is there a lot M&A motion on this house now?
Palo Alto Networks was first to the punch, grabbing Twistlock for $410 million in Could 2019. VMware struck a year later, snaring Octarine. Cisco followed with PortShift in October and Red Hat snagged StackRox final month earlier than the Rapid7 response final week.
That is partly as a result of many corporations selected to turn out to be cloud-native extra rapidly through the pandemic. This has created a sharper concentrate on safety, however it could be a mistake to attribute the acquisition wave strictly to COVID-19, as corporations had been shifting on this path pre-pandemic.
It’s additionally essential to notice that safety startups that cowl a distinct segment like container safety typically attain market saturation quicker than corporations with broader protection as a result of clients typically wish to consolidate on a single platform, fairly than coping with a fragmented set of distributors and determining how you can make all of them work collectively.
Containers present a option to ship software program by breaking down a big utility into discrete items referred to as microservices. These are packaged and delivered in containers. Kubernetes gives the orchestration layer, figuring out when to ship the container and when to close it down.
This stage of automation presents a safety problem, ensuring the containers are configured appropriately and never susceptible to hackers. With myriad switches this isn’t simple, and it’s made much more difficult by the ephemeral nature of the containers themselves.
Yoav Leitersdorf, managing associate at YL Ventures, an Israeli funding agency specializing in safety startups, says these challenges are driving curiosity in container startups from massive corporations. “The acquisitions we’re seeing now are filling gaps within the portfolio of safety capabilities supplied by the bigger corporations,” he stated.