FireEye Inc paid $200 million to purchase iSight Partners Inc, a firm that deploys intelligence agents overseas in order to identify cyber attacks before they transpire. FireEye is adapting to changing threats in the cybersecurity realm with the bid.
FireEye has been in the hardware and software business since 2006, focusing on the detection and prevention of cyber attacks. The firm paid nearly $1 billion for Mandiant Corp. in 2014, a firm which investigates after attacks happen and boots hackers from penetrated systems. ISight tries to predict attacks before they happen, thus bringing nuance to FireEye’s portfolio.
ISight claims to have 250 agents across 17 countries, including Ukraine, Brazil and India. The team collects intelligence, and speaks altogether 29 languages. They make up former government or security officials in countries where they are based. They detect by monitoring online hacker forums and discuss local sources to identify potentials threats or hackers.
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FireEye paid cash for the deal closed on January 14. The firm could pay $75 million more in cash if iSight meets certain financial goals. The company laid out its plans for 2016 to Hacked.
“In 2016 we are focused on attribution – identifying attackers and threat group and – perhaps more challenging, getting attribution right,” Dan Wire, Director of Communications, told Hacked.
In the cyber realm, countries are looking for ways to establish and enforce behaviors, and attribution will do just that – attribution will deter potential attackers and can potentially soften the blow for breached entities.
Those aren’t the only trends the firm foresees.
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“Other key trends include high-cost disruptive attacks that are changing the risk profile, infrastructure-based attacks with attention on industrial control systems, an increased focus on weakly secured ‘Internet of Things’ devices.” The firm will achieve this by sticking to its past methods: focusing on the prevention of attacks.
Attack groups are constantly changing their approach to accomplish their mission, companies need to develop forward-looking capabilities to keep of with the changing threat landscape and make sure they are aware of the specific threats that are targeting their organization and industry.
Wire believes FireEye will have unique tools needed to be a cybersecurity leader, especially after the purchase of iSIGHT.
“We have machine-learning based intel from the FireEye technology platform, victim-based intelligence from Mandiant services and now adding attacker-based intelligence from the acquisition of iSIGHT,” he said. “This is a compelling combination that nobody else can offer and it will make all our products more effective.”
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