Imperva Consolidates Security Holdings With Two Acquisitions

Imperva acquires two security companies it already had close ties with: Incapsula and Skyfence.

enterprise security

Security firm Imperva is acquiring a pair of companies it is very familiar with: Incapsula and Skyfence.

Incapsula is a cloud-based security platform spun off from Imperva, and Skyfence, which recently emerged from stealth mode with a behavior-based cloud application security offering, was founded by former Imperva employees.

Imperva is paying approximately $60 million for Skyfence, Mark Kraynak, Imperva's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told eWEEK. Imperva already owned approximately 80 percent of Incapsula and is now moving to buy the remaining share.

Nearly all employees from the two acquisitions will be retained, Kraynak said.

Imperva originally seeded Incapsula more than four years ago because it recognized that cloud delivery would change the Web application security landscape. As it turns out, that idea has proven correct, with Incapsula having 272 percent year-over-year revenue growth in 2013.

"Now that Incapsula has reached this stage, the time is right to bring them into a larger company to help take them to the next stage," Kraynak said. "Skyfence is similar in that we are now at a time where we recognize that software-as-a-service [SaaS] delivery models for internally facing corporate applications will substantially change the landscape for data center security and compliance."

Imperva intellectual property as well as one of Imperva's co-founders, Marc Gaffan, were at the core of Incapsula.While Imperva owned 80 percent of Incapsula, the rest was employee-owned.

"We chose this structure to give them the agility to develop and go to market without constraints that could have been imposed by a larger entity," Kraynak said. "Now they have crossed the point where they are highly successful, and we're seeing synergies in the form of side-by-side deployments of Imperva Web application firewall [WAF] and Incapsula cloud distributed denial-of-service [DDoS] protection."

Imperva's SecureSphere WAF product can now also run on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud in addition to being an on-premise solution. The Incapsula solution in contrast works by having an organization point their Domain Name System (DNS) information at the Incapsula cloud service, which then defends the site.

The Skyfence technology that Imperva is acquiring will remain a stand-alone product. The Skyfence Cloud Application Gateway leverages user behavior as a key tool for cloud security.

"There is no technology integration in the current road map with Skyfence," Kraynak said. "This reflects that it's an early market, and we expect it to be a stand-alone sale at this point."

The expectation is that customers will begin to look for a hybrid solution in the future, and at that point, Imperva will deliver integrations based on customer demand if and when that happens, Kraynak said. Imperva does offer a hybrid SecureSphere and Incapsula DDoS service today, and the company expects to continue to add incremental improvements and integrations over time, he added.

"We think we're at the early stages of a very high-potential and high-growth market, both for data center security generally, but also for cloud security," Kraynak said. "So what's next for us is to continue to execute in those markets and track trends in the threat environment to protect our customers."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.