It’s also one that Symantec likely hopes will put the final nail in the can a legacy firewall vendor successfully pivot to cloud-first security? coffin. (Symantec says the answer is yes, and recent history suggests it’s on the right track.)
The security vendor won’t disclose terms of the acquisition.
Luminate launched in March 2018, and a month later debuted its cloud security platform, called Secure Access Cloud, at the annual RSA Conference. It’s based on Google’s BeyondCorp philosophy, which is a zero-trust approach to network security. It shifts access controls from the network perimeter to individual devices and users.
Symantec says this technology will further extend its own Integrated Cyber Defense Platform to users as they access workloads and applications regardless of where those workloads are deployed or what infrastructure they are accessed through.
Unified Cloud, Data Center Security
The security giant wanted to add software-defined perimeter technology to its perimeter and considered several vendors in this space, said Gerry Grealish, head of product marketing for network security at Symantec. It already partnered with Luminate, and the two companies shared several joint customers, he added.
“It’s mature technology,” Grealish noted. “It was born in the cloud, it’s agentless, and it’s proven in the [customer] accounts we worked on with them. They are gaining good traction in the market in the relatively short timeframe they have been out there.”
Symantec will integrate Luminate’s technology into its offerings — for example, integration with its endpoint security software will provide additional contextual information that could trigger policies changes that are applied via the Secure Access Cloud, Grealish explained. These integrations will start rolling out in the U.S. this summer.
The acquisition also advances Symantec’s strategy of buying born-in-the-cloud security startups and folding these companies’ technologies into its platform to unify cloud and on-premises security.
It was the first of the legacy vendors to buy a cloud access security broker (CASB), Blue Coat Systems, in 2016. And a year later it bought Fireglass to add web isolation technologies to its portfolio.
Symantec also acquired Javelin Networks and Appthority late last year to boost its endpoint security business.
These acquisitions, coupled with Symantec’s home-grown technology, provide a more comprehensive, unified security platform for customers across endpoints, networks, email, and cloud, which ultimately reduces complexity, Grealish said. “Now our position is even that much stronger because Luminate brings us this zero-trust access piece,” he added.
This strategy seems to be working.
Brighter Days Ahead
After a rocky 2018 that included an executive team shakeup, an internal and SEC investigation related to financial disclosures, and global layoffs amid declining enterprise sales, Symantec started the new year with a strong quarter fueled by its enterprise sales.
The company’s enterprise security business generated $616 million in revenue for its third quarter of fiscal 2019, which was $31 million higher than its earlier guidance. “After a difficult first half of the year, we are pleased with a return to revenue growth in enterprise security, which grew 3 percent organically,” Clark told investors on last week’s conference call. The strong results also led Symantec to increase its enterprise security growth guidance for the full fiscal year.
At today’s Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference, Clark reiterated his positive outlook for growing enterprise security sales. And he also addressed the legacy-data-center-versus-cloud-native security question.
“I do not believe we will be run out of town by a cloud-native player,” Clark said, adding that Symantec is a “cloud-first, multi-cloud company.”