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Check Point antes up for zero trust network access by acquiring Odo Security

September 18 2020
by Garrett Bekker


Introduction


In recent years, a few dozen startups have emerged to sell software-defined perimeter (SDP) products (increasingly referred to as zero trust network access, or ZTNA), which includes technologies that enable access to applications and resources without requiring a traditional VPN. (We have published reports on many of them.) Most of these companies are likely to be bolt-on acquisitions for incumbent vendors, including Odo Security, which with its sale to Check Point Software, has now become the latest zero trust provider to be scooped up by a larger security firm.

Snapshot Snapshot

Acquirer

Check Point Software Technologies

Target

Odo Security

Subsector

Information security

Deal value

Undisclosed

Date announced

September 16, 2020

Closing date

Undisclosed

The 451 Take

Odo was competing in a hot market that has also become hotly contested, with upwards of 20 vendors by our count that we had noted were likely to end up as M&A targets for incumbent security companies. With vendors such as Broadcom (Symantec/Luminate), Proofpoint (Meta Networks), Fortinet (OPAQ Networks) and Forcepoint already placing their bets, it's no surprise that Check Point decided to get into the game by nabbing a fellow Israeli firm with some Check Point heritage. According to 451 Research's Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash Survey June 2020, over two-thirds of enterprises plan to make work-from-home (WFH) policies either long term or permanent, and Check Point will likely utilize Odo to complement its existing VPN offerings.

Deal details


At the time of our last report on Odo in October 2019, the zero trust vendor had roughly 20 fulltime employees, and had raised a total of $5m in seed funding led by TLV Partners and Magma Venture Partners. The small team and modest funding suggest an equally modest price, which would match Check Point's modus operandi. According to 451 Research, the network security provider hasn't printed a nine-figure deal since late 2008.

Target profile


Tel Aviv-based Odo Security was founded in late 2017 by Or Zilberman (CEO), Noa Shafir (chief product officer) and Gilad Steinberg (CTO), and came out of stealth mode in 2019. Collectively, the founders and overall team have experience at leading IT and cybersecurity vendors such as Google, Check Point, Dome9, SentinelOne and CyberArk.

In terms of technology, the company follows a standard SDP architecture that includes three main components: connectors, controllers and gateways that can be located on-premises or in a public cloud such as AWS , Azure or Google Cloud Platform. Odo supports web, RDP, SSH and databases, and thus can also extend access to R&D and engineering teams as well as privileged users.

Acquirer profile


Check Point Software is one of the pioneers of network security, having developed its flagship stateful inspection firewall technology after it was founded in 1993. The Tel Aviv-based vendor went public in 1996, and today it has a broad portfolio that spans network security, endpoint security and cloud security. Compared with some of its publicly traded peers, Check Point has been a reluctant acquirer, inking just 14 deals in its more than 25 years as a public company. Recent acquisitions include Protego Labs (serverless application security), Cymplify (IoT security), ForceNock Security (web app and API security) and Dome9 Security (cloud infrastructure security).

Competition


As noted, Odo contends in a market that has become quite congested, with a mix of startups and incumbent vendors that have either acquired or developed their own ZTNA capabilities. Recent entrants include Force, NetMotion, Pulse Secure and Wandera. Existing ZTNA providers include Broadcom (Symantec/Luminate), Akamai (Soha Networks), Cloudflare (Cloudflare Access), Cisco (Duo Security), Google (BeyondCorp Remote Access), Microsoft (Conditional Access), Proofpoint (Meta Networks), Perimeter81, Okta (ScaleFT), Zscaler (Zscaler Private Access), AppGate, Verizon (Vidder), Strongdm, Zentera, Safe-T and Banyan Ops.