The Israeli start-up security company Fireglass has been acquired by Symantec, in a small deal designed to boost its products that protect corporate email and web browsing from threats. The company is paying an undisclosed sum for the Tel Aviv-based company of about 40 employees.
Fireglass, founded in 2014 by a former Check Point Software Technologies executive, was backed by investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. It had raised $20 million in early 2016 and competes with Menlo Security. Fireglass specializes in an area of security called "browser isolation," a technology that creates virtual websites allowing users to browse any content without having viruses touch their network.
"Browser isolation" is an area that Symantec had been looking to enter for some time, Chief Executive Greg Clark said in an interview. He cited a Gartner report that projected that 50% of enterprises would adopt browser isolation by 2021. Health care companies, financial institutions, government, and telecommunications firms have been early adopters of the technology, he added. "While it's what I would call a 'tuck-in' acquisition, it will be very valuable to us as we bring it to our customers," Clark said.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the calendar year. Symantec has been one of the most serial acquirers in security companies in recent years, gobbling up Lifelock for $2.3 billion earlier this year and Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in 2015. The deal will also increase the company's footprint in Israel, a hotbed for cybersecurity, where Clark said Symantec has been looking to expand. According to reports, Israel, which has more than 400 cybersecurity startups, attracts about 20% of private global cyber investment.