PE consortium buy cybersecurity firm for $400m

A private equity consortium has jointly acquired cybersecurity company PhishMe, in a deal that valued the firm at $400m.

The consortium reportedly consisted of BlackRock and Pamplona Capital Management, with the latter owning about two-thirds of the company and BlackRock owning the remainder according to a report by Fortune. Along with the change in ownership, PhishMe has also rebranded itself as Cofense.

“PhishMe was founded to challenge the cliché that people are the weakest link in security. Our 1700+ enterprise and mid-market customers affirm that not only can their employees be conditioned to be less susceptible to cyber-attacks, but, in fact they can be turned into sensors that provide very timely intelligence,” said Rohyt Belani, CEO and co-founder of Cofense. “The Cofense solution set leverages internal employee-generated attack intelligence in concert with purpose-built response technologies to break the attack kill chain at delivery. Cofense reflects the full breadth of our portfolio of enterprise-wide attack detection, response, and orchestration solutions.”

The company is a provider of human-driven phishing defense solutions. It delivers a collaborative approach to cybersecurity by enabling organisation-wide engagement to active email threats. Cofense’s collective defense suite combines timely attack intelligence sourced from employees with incident response technologies to stop attacks faster and stay ahead of breaches.

Based in n Leesburg, Virginia, the company’s customers include Global 1000 organizations in defense, energy, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

As the industry most commonly targeted by cyber threat actors, firms in the financial services sector face a complex mix of threats from a diverse group of economically motivated adversaries.

Cofense works with leading financial sector firms in the United States and EMEA to reduce employee susceptibility to spear phishing attacks and encourage user reporting of suspicious email. By developing specific exercises tailored to the industry, Cofense helps customers train their staff to recognize the most relevant attack tactics. As an added benefit, Cofense can demonstrate annual staff training requirements for a variety of regulatory requirements.

“This acquisition further strengthens the alignment between our management team, employees, and investors as we focus on building an enduring company,” added Belani. “With cybersecurity a top priority for organizations everywhere, our goal is to continue bringing innovative products to markets around the globe to help stop active attacks faster than ever.”

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