FireEye announced the acquisition of privately held iSIGHT Partners, one of the world’s leading providers of cyber threat intelligence for global enterprises. The transaction closed on January 14, 2016.
With the acquisition, FireEye creates the world’s most advanced and comprehensive private cyber threat intelligence operation. Customers of both companies will benefit from lower business risk through higher fidelity alerts, context to prioritize threats and the strategic insights to proactively prepare for threats that might target their industry or region. Existing iSIGHT customers will continue to have access to iSIGHT products. FireEye plans to add new intelligence subscription models that include industry vertical specific slices, similar to FireEye’s planned offerings with Visa, so existing and new customers will be able to purchase new threat intelligence products tailored to their organization’s specific threat profile.
Both iSIGHT and FireEye are leading the industry towards an intelligence-led security model that provides organizations with the comprehensive strategic threat insights needed to combat increasingly sophisticated and persistent attacks. An intelligence-led security model offers deeper and broader visibility into attacks, attackers and attack methodologies, thereby enabling organizations to more effectively detect, respond to and anticipate security breaches.
The iSIGHT intelligence network monitors and mines global cyber threat development and thousands of threat actors. iSIGHT’s nearly 350 dedicated staff includes more than 250 cyber threat intelligence experts across 17 countries, covering 29 languages. iSIGHT has invested nearly $100 million over eight years to build out its cyber intelligence capability, and the size and scope of the combined FireEye, Mandiant and iSIGHT cyber threat intelligence capability rivals the largest intelligence operations in the world. FireEye’s existing customer base will see immediate value in their existing subscriptions through increased protection from the iSIGHT intelligence network, which will feed core threat intelligence into the DTI ecosystem that is continually refreshed every 60 minutes.
“This acquisition extends FireEye’s intelligence lead with an offering no one else in the industry can match,” said David DeWalt, FireEye chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “The biggest mistake most people make is thinking threat intelligence is a collection of virus definitions in a shared database. Forward-looking security organizations - from governments to the private sector - know threat intelligence is the key to establishing a robust security posture tuned for the threats targeting each organization. As the cyber operations become integrated with physical, geopolitical and competitive conflict, an intelligence-led approach to security will be key in detecting the most sophisticated threats and responding to them quickly and effectively.”
“Until now, only governments and large enterprises have been able to achieve intelligence-led security, but with the combined resources of FireEye, Mandiant and iSIGHT, we can make the benefits of intelligence-led security available to a broad range of organizations,” said John Watters, iSIGHT’s founder and chief executive officer prior to the acquisition. “We’re bringing iSIGHT together with intelligence teams inside of FireEye and Mandiant that are among the best in the industry, fusing victim-based intelligence with attacker-based, over-the-horizon insights derived from iSIGHT’s global cyber-threat ecosystem. When coupled with the technology and services of FireEye and Mandiant, this intelligence capability is a game changer for the industry and enables an intelligence-led security model that other security companies will be hard pressed to replicate.”
Financial Terms of the Transaction
Under the terms of the merger agreement, FireEye will pay approximately $200 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments for transaction related expenses, to the former iSIGHT shareholders for 100 percent of the outstanding shares of iSIGHT. Additionally, the former iSIGHT shareholders will have the opportunity to earn an additional amount of $75 million in cash and equity upon the achievement of a threat intelligence bookings target on or before the end of FireEye’s second quarter of 2018.
The transaction is expected to be slightly accretive to FireEye’s 2016 operating income and cash flow. As of December 31, 2015, FireEye’s balance sheet included approximately $1.17 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
“With higher quality alerts and the context to prioritize the most critical attacks with the response information at their fingertips, we solidify our role as an essential part of our customers’ security infrastructure,” said Michael Berry, FireEye chief financial officer. “By delivering nation-state grade threat intelligence to commercial customers, we create new cross-sell opportunities that will drive new subscription revenue and increasing renewal value for existing customers.”