Ending a year that witnessed several high-profile cybersecurity breaches, December saw two of the year’s largest. National retailer Target Corp. reported a breach of it users’ credit and debit card data that affected approximately 40 million accounts, with the perpetrators gaining access to card numbers and encrypted PIN data. Additionally, 4.6 million user names and associated mobile phone numbers were stolen and partially published online, in association with social communication company Snapchat.
December was a strong month for IT security M&A. Identity-based security solution provider Entrust was acquired by Datacard Group for $500 million, at an EV / EBITDA multiple of ~4.17x. The combination of Datacard’s personalized card and secure identification solutions with Entrust’s digital identity capabilities is expected to create an integrated platform of physical and digital security solutions that will reduce complexity for customers’ identification ecosystem. Additionally, Akamai Technologies acquired Prolexic Technologies, a provider of cloud-based distributed denial of service (“DDoS”) protection solutions, for $370 million, in order to expand its portfolio of network security solutions.
IT security companies also experienced a robust market for VC funding in December. Fundings for the month reached $130 million, bringing total YTD funding to $1.2 billion. Mobile device security developer Mocana raised $15 million in a Series E funding round that will be used to further develop security technologies aimed at protecting the growing number of sensor-embedded, network-enabled devices, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things.” AlienVault, a provider of open source tools for vulnerability assessment and security intelligence, raised $30 million in a Series D funding round in an effort to scale its global sales and marketing initiatives. The Big Data market also made funding headlines with Palantir’s $107.5 million Series I round that implied a valuation of approximately $9 billion for the CIAbacked data analytics firm.