Microsoft likely to shop for cybersecurity firm RiskIQ, pay more than $500 mn


Microsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire RiskIQ, a security software maker, as the tech giant tries to expand its products and better give protection to customers amid a rising tide of global cyberattacks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal will be announced as soon as the following couple of days, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking approximately an acquisition that isn’t yet public. Microsoft will pay more than $500 million in cash for the company, one of the most people said.

San Francisco-based RiskIQ makes cloud software for detecting security threats, helping clients understand where and how they are able to be attacked on complex webs of corporate networks and devices. Its customers include Facebook Inc., BMW AG, American Express Co. and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the company’s web site.

Known for its annual outline on security called the “Depraved Internet Minute,” RiskIQ has raised $83 million from firms like Summit Partners and Battery Ventures, according to Crunchbase. It was once founded in 2009.

A spokesman for Microsoft declined to remark and RiskIQ didn’t immediately respond to a request for remark.

Microsoft has been adding security features to products like Windows and its Azure cloud services and products to give protection to individual machines and detect attacks on networks. The company has also added personnel who probe Microsoft’s own products for vulnerabilities, help clients clean up after a cyberattack, and runs a lab called the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center that closely tracks nation-state hackers.

The software maker has also acquired several companies to expand its security capabilities. Final month, Microsoft bought ReFirm Labs, a maker of technology to protected Internet of Things devices, for an undisclosed amount. In a blog post announcing the deal, the company said it has 3,500 employees working on security at Microsoft and a mission to help give protection to customers “from the chip to the cloud.”

Microsoft and the remainder of the U.S. technology industry, in addition to companies and government agencies, have also spent the past eight months grappling with a series of damaging and widespread cyberattacks.

This month, hackers launched a mass ransomware attack that exploited a couple of up to now unknown vulnerabilities in IT management software made by Kaseya Ltd. In March, hackers linked to China used flaws in the code of Microsoft Exchange to break into tens of thousands of organizations, and in an attack disclosed in December, suspected Russian hackers compromised popular software from Texas-based firm SolarWinds Corp., inserting malicious code into updates for SolarWinds software.

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