The three American companies — Symantec, Palo Alto Networks and Proofpoint — undertook seven acquisitions each in the cyber security space during the five years, while Sophos acquired six companies and BlackBerry five during the period.
And of the top five acquirers in terms of number of acquisitions, analyst firm GlobalData says the top three were headquartered in the US, with the UK-based Sophos and Canadian firm BlackBerry also featuring among the top five.
In the top five list dominated by core cybersecurity software companies, BlackBerry was the only exception.
This is reflected in its acquisitions of multiple cybersecurity companies or assets, with the most notable being the acquisition of Cylance - announced in November 2018 and completed in February 2019.
According to GlobalData, exponential increase in cyber threat risks is making corporates across geographies more vulnerable than ever before.
Furthermore, the analyst firm says the emergence of new regulatory frameworks such as General Data Protection Regulation in the EU also calls for measures focused on privacy and data protection. “This has made cyber security firms an extremely lucrative business proposition,” GlobalData notes.
“Going forward, the momentum in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the cybersecurity space is likely to stay,” Bose says.
“Companies, other than software vendors and core cybersecurity players, are also pursuing M&A aggressively and foraying into the promising space in a big way.
More than 70% of the targets acquired by the top five acquirers in the cybersecurity space during 2014-2018 were headquartered in the US. Israel with approximately 13% share occupied the distant second position.
“Israel has long been recognised for innovation and expertise in cyber security. Israeli start-ups working in the cyber security space remain attractive acquisition targets.”