In its third security buy of the year, VMware announces its intent to acquire Lastline

VMworld
VMware buys anti-malware and security vendor Lastline to improve its security capabilities across cloud deployments and on-premises networks. (FierceTelecom)

VMware announced on Thursday that it has struck a deal to buy network security vendor Lastline for an undisclosed sum. Lastline marked VMware's third security deal of this year after previously announcing deals for analytics vendor Nyansa in January and Kubernetes security startup Octarine last month.

RELATED: VMware to buy Kubernetes security startup Octarine

Last August, VMware bought security company Carbon Black, which is listed as a technology partner on Lastline's web site. Carbon Black, which was founded in 2002, provides anti-malware and endpoint security products that can monitor a company's devices to see if they have been hacked.

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The deal is slated to close in VMware's second quarter fiscal year 2021 on July 31. Lastline will be folded into VMware's NSX architecture, according to a blog by Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager for VMware's networking and security business unit. According to a story by TechCrunch, VMware plans to lay off 40% of Lastline's staff, which it said was about 50 employees, as part of the deal. A VMware spokesperson said in an email to FierceTelecom that the company wasn't commenting on TechCrunch's story.

"Today we announced our intent to acquire Lastline, a pioneer in anti-malware research and AI-powered network detection and response," Gillis said in his blog. "This is an important step forward for VMware’s vision of Intrinsic Security, as it will allow us to further take advantage of the intrinsic attributes of our virtualization platform to yield innovative security capabilities.

"Our aim is not to replicate that which exists today, but rather to build security solutions that we can uniquely deliver, spanning from the heart of the data center to users in a branch office and all the way to mobile users at home or on the road."

Lastline is a pioneer in anti-malware research and artificial intelligence-powered network detection and response. The company, which was founded in 2011, provides a malware protection platform to detect and stop advanced, persistent threats, zero-day exploits and evasive malware. Its software protects network, email, cloud, and web infrastructures.  Lastline's cloud-native platform can provide security for on-premise networks and for multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

"Lastline boasts several of the top-10 most published security threat researchers globally, and the Lastline team has been credited with bringing structure and rigor to the world of malware research," Gillis said. "This is reflected in the fact that the Lastline team has 15 PhDs and academics on staff. At VMware, we will amplify the academic focus of the Lastline team, and by joining forces with the Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit (TAU), continue to foster their deep understanding not just of the threat, but of the motivation and tactics behind the threat."

Gillis said NSX provides deep insights into network traffic since it touches every packet. Using Lastline's machine learning, the NSX architecture will enable Lastline to perform analysis across tens of thousands of cores without tapping into network traffic.

Lastline, which is headquartered in San Mateo, California, was founded by Christopher Kruegel, Engin Kirda and Giovanni Vigna. According to Crunchbase, it had raised just over $52 million, including a $28.5 million Series C round three years ago.

RELATED: VMware’s CEO shares thoughts on work-from-home impacts

Last week, VMware reported a strong Q1 2021 with total revenue for the quarter of $2.734 billion, up 12% year-over-year. And non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.52, up 41% year-over-year.

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