Palo Alto Networks Buys Security Firm Morta

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Palo Alto Networks is to acquire security startup Morta, established by former NSA and Air Force members

Palo Alto Networks is to build upon its WildFire next-generation firewall offering after announcing that it will acquire Morta Security – a startup created by veterans of the National Security Agency and the US Air Force.

The company is looking to create an automated security solution that will enable enterprises to be more proactive in protecting themselves against threats, and react more quickly when they are attacked.

Threat Detection

The company did not elaborate on what specifically Morta’s technology does, but officials said the startup’s capabilities will help organisations better detect variations in new attacks.

No financial details about the deal were revealed.

Security © m00osfoto Shutterstock 2012“The Morta team brings additional valuable threat intelligence experience and capabilities to Palo Alto Networks,” Palo Alto President and CEO Mark McLaughlin said in a statement. “The company’s technology developments align well with our highly integrated, automated and scalable platform approach and their contributions will translate into additive threat detection and prevention benefits for our customers.”

The Morta acquisition is the latest in a security industry that continues to see some consolidation. Cyber-security software maker FireEye announced 2 January that it was spending $1 billion (£607m) to buy Mandiant, which makes endpoint security products and software for managing incident response. The companies said their focus will be on developing solutions around real-time intrusion detection, contextual threat intelligence and rapid incident response.

Network Security

Cisco Systems also is rapidly growing its security capabilities. The networking giant last year spent $2.7 billion (£1.6bn) to buy Sourcefire, which Cisco officials said significantly expanded its capabilities in such areas as next-generation firewalls, next-generation intrusion-preventions systems and advanced malware protection. The move came as Cisco looks to become a strong enterprise IT provider.

“Security is a very crucial component [of an overall enterprise IT solution portfolio], and enterprises expect that,” Bret Hartman, chief technology officer of Cisco’s Security Group, told eWEEK in October. “You can’t be considered a credible [IT vendor] without this security.”

In January 2013, Cisco bought network security vendor Cognitive Security.

Palo Alto officials said too many organisations are relying too much on legacy point technologies that are ill-suited to defend against the newer, more sophisticated attacks, and it’s becoming too expensive and difficult to continue addressing the threat with more products and people.

Instead, what’s needed is automated, scalable solutions that can reduce the threat area, block all known threats, detect unknown threats through analysis and respond to the unknown threats, officials said.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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