• The acquisition will help detect and mitigate threats in real-time.
  • F5’s mission is to power adaptive applications that enable customers to secure and deliver extraordinary digital experiences.
  • The deal is expected to be finalized in F5’s first-quarter fiscal year 2022, ending December 31, 2021.

F5 Networks, one of the largest producers of enterprise networking gear, has acquired Threat Stack, a leader in cloud security and workload protection. The former’s application and API protection solutions combined with the latter’s cloud security capabilities and expertise will enhance visibility across application infrastructure and workloads. This will make it easier for customers to adopt consistent security in any cloud.

The latest development comes close on the heels of a string of deals undertaken by F5 Networks in recent times. Earlier this year, the applications networking company had acquired multi-cloud management startup Volterra for  USD 500 mn. The Seattle-based application security and delivery company is on a mission to expand its cloud security offerings and has spent more than  USD 2 billion to absorb a variety of cloud and security software ventures in the last three years.

Threats surrounding immersive digital experiences have seen a steep rise and the focal point for cybercriminals are applications. According to F5 Networks, businesses lose over USD 100 billion a year to attacks that target digital experiences. The complexity is also that applications are distributed across multiple environments and are deeply interconnected through APIs. This increases the scope for threats as attackers find potential entry points. Organizations often struggle to accelerate their digital moves so as to remain competitive while eliminating growing complexities and a widening range of sophisticated adversaries.  Keeping the growing threat in mind, F5 aims to power adaptive applications that can help customers secure their networks and deliver extraordinary digital experiences.

Threat Stack was founded in November 2021. Ever since, it has accumulated over USD 70 million across six funding rounds, including a USD 45 million Series C round led by F-Prime Capital Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures. The venture specializes in cloud security for applications and provides customers with real-time threat detection for workloads and cloud infrastructure. Proactively, Threat Stack alerts organizations of all vulnerabilities and provides a report on the loopholes that need to be plugged.

How does it work?

Threat Stack’s cloud security platform works across cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and containerized environments. It is famous for its Slack integration that alerts DevOps teams to check security issues in real-time. The website is evident of its big-name customers such as Glassdoor, Ping Identity, and Proofpoint.

F5 has announced that it has partnered with Threat Stack to integrate its API and application protection solutions into the company’s cloud security platform to simplify customer jobs in adopting consistent security in any cloud.

The acquisition closing is expected to occur in F5’s first-quarter fiscal year 2022, and it is subject to closing conditions.

Expert’s view

“Applications are the backbone of today’s modern businesses, and protecting them is mission-critical for our customers,” said Haiyan Song, EVP of Security at F5. “Threat Stack brings technology and talent that will strengthen F5’s security capabilities and further our adaptive applications vision with broader cloud observability and actionable security insights for customers.”

“A core tenet of adaptive applications is their capacity to protect themselves by detecting and mitigating threats in real time,” F5 said in its news release announcing the deal. “Threat Stack’s proactive risk identification and real-time threat detection combined with the breadth of F5’s application insights and controls will accelerate the delivery of this capability for our customers.”

“Security remains a top concern for enterprises that are scrambling to secure next-generation applications that run both on-premises and in multiple public clouds,” said analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. “With that in mind it’s always good to see a major player like F5 expanding its capabilities with acquisitions. In the battle between the good and the bad guys, the good guys scored a major victory today.