Microsoft Buys Israeli Data Security Firm Secure Islands
A nine-year-old Israeli tech company that provides embedded security for documents of all kinds has been acquired by Microsoft for an undisclosed sum. Secure Islands is the fifth Israel-based company -- and the third Israeli cybersecurity firm -- purchased by Microsoft over the past year.
Founded by brothers Aki and Yuval Eldar, Secure Islands' flagship product is called IQProtector. The company said IQProtector "immunizes" data by embedding classification and security protections into documents at the moment they're created.
The transaction is believed to be valued at $150 million, according to Globes, an Israeli business publication that first reported on the then-pending deal last month. After the acquisition receives regulatory approval, Microsoft said that it plans to integrate Secure Islands' technology into its Azure Rights Management Service.
Expanding Azure's Data Protection
"This acquisition accelerates our ability to help customers secure their business data no matter where it is stored -- across on-premises systems, Microsoft cloud services like Azure and Office 365, third-party services, and any Windows, iOS or Android device," cloud and enterprise marketing corporate vice president Takeshi Numoto noted today in a blog post.
Secure Islands, which has long been a Microsoft partner, offers a technology that builds on the data protection currently offered through Microsoft's Azure Rights Management Service, Numoto added.
"These new capabilities, combined with the data classification in Windows and Office 365, will provide our customers with the industry's most comprehensive data protection solution," he said.
A Microsoft spokesperson told us the company is "not disclosing terms of the purchase agreement. However, the spokesperson added that Microsoft expected that a significant number of the employees at Secure Islands will continue on post-acquisition.
"By joining Microsoft, we will be able to extend and expand our vision," said Aki Eldar, Secure Islands' CEO, in a blog post on his company's Web site. "Microsoft has been a longtime partner and its leadership in enterprise IT, its resources and global reach will help us innovate and deliver new information protection capabilities to both our current and new customer base."
Customers Include Credit Suisse, UBS
Secure Islands' business customers include Credit Suisse, OSRAM, UBS and Vodafone. Credit Suisse Next Investors also provided $12 million in financing in September 2014; other investors have brought the company's total funding to $20 million.
This past September, Secure Islands expanded its product lineup with the release of IQProtector Mobile, which applies data classification and protection policies to files and e-mails on mobile devices.
The service works with the help of the company's Data Interceptor, which automatically inspects documents upon creation, converts them to the creator's designated classification, encrypts them and then adds usage rights based on the user's policies. Documents saved in this way can be tracked, audited and analyzed no matter where they are then sent.
Other Israel-based companies that have been acquired by Microsoft in the past year include the cloud security firm Adallom, purchased for $320 million in July; digital pen company N-Trig, bought for $200 million in February; the text analysis company Equivio, purchased for $200 million in January; and the cybersecurity firm Aorato, acquired last November for $200 million.