Cybersecurity has long been the elephant in the room. Folks talk about the elephant but it’s been a challenging undertaking for even the most sophisticated technologists. As VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger has stated, “Security is broken and fundamentally customers want a different answer in the security space. We think this move will be an opportunity for major disruption.”
He is referring to his company’s most recent acquisition of Carbon Black for $2.1 billion. What’s different with this acquisition is that VMware will have the ability to offer integrated solutions to its clients rather than security features as an additional add-on.
“With Carbon Black we are in a very unique position to integrate security into everything we offer,” comments VMware’s senior vice president and general manager of security products Tom Corn. “We are in position to proactively secure private and public clouds or any application and device across the network.”
The CEO of Carbon Black Patrick Morley would not have agreed to such combination if he did not believe it made strategic sense for his company on a go forward basis, “VMware has a vision to create a modern security platform for any app, running on any cloud, delivered to any device – essentially, to build security into the fabric of the compute stack. Carbon Black’s cloud-native platform, our ability to see and stop attackers by leveraging the power of our rich data and behavioral analytics, and our deep cybersecurity expertise are all truly differentiating.”
Morely will be leading a newly formed security business unit while reporting to VMware’s COO of customer operations Sanjay Poonen who states, “The Carbon Black platform, along with VMware NSX, VMware Workspace ONE, VMware Secure State and our future innovations, will deliver a highly differentiated intrinsic security platform across network, endpoint, workload, identity, cloud and analytics."
Industry observers with technical chops were overall positive about the combination. For example, Jon Oltsik of the Enterprise Strategy Group point out that “The acquisition can help VMware address its historical cybersecurity shortcomings, but Carbon Black has the potential to contribute much more."
Oltsik makes a comparison to help clarify the logic of the acquisition, "For example, armed with Carbon Black, VMware can provide an integrated secure workspace, similar to what Microsoft does with [Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection]. Beyond endpoints, Carbon Black can also be bundled with core ESX [hypervisor].”
Other recent complementary VMware acquisitions in the security space include Veriflow (hybrid-cloud management) and Intrinsic, which is focused on securing serverless workloads.