Palo Alto Buys IBM Assets, Targets SIEM Growth by Sept

Palo Alto Networks to acquire IBM's cloud security assets, aiming to expand its customer base and enhance Cortex Xsiam platform.

By Alex P. Chase

5/15, 16:55 EDT
Cisco Systems, Inc.
International Business Machines Corporation
Palo Alto Networks, Inc.
Splunk Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • Palo Alto Networks to acquire IBM's cloud security assets, aiming to expand its customer base and enhance Cortex Xsiam platform.
  • The deal is part of a cybersecurity industry consolidation trend, highlighted by Cisco's $28 billion acquisition of Splunk.
  • Partnership expected to boost Palo Alto's SIEM market presence and support IBM’s growth targets; deal closing anticipated by end of September.

Strategic Acquisition and Partnership

Palo Alto Networks is set to acquire cloud security software assets from IBM, marking a significant move in the cybersecurity landscape. This acquisition, part of a broader partnership, aims to enhance Palo Alto's security platform, Cortex Xsiam, by migrating existing IBM QRadar cloud software customers. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. This collaboration is expected to expand Palo Alto's access to a larger customer base and more consultants, with IBM committing to train over 1,000 of its consulting employees on Palo Alto’s products.

Industry Consolidation

The cybersecurity sector is witnessing a wave of consolidation as companies prepare to tackle the increasing threat of attacks, potentially exacerbated by artificial intelligence. Notable transactions include Cisco's $28 billion acquisition of Splunk, a leading provider of security information and event management (SIEM) software, and the recent announcement of a merger between Exabeam and Thoma Bravo’s LogRhythm, both key players in the SIEM market. Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora emphasized the competitive nature of the industry and the necessity for Palo Alto to strengthen its position, particularly in light of Cisco's acquisition of Splunk.

Enhancing Capabilities

The partnership between Palo Alto and IBM is set to bring significant enhancements to Palo Alto’s offerings. IBM’s adoption of Palo Alto’s Cortex Xsiam and Prisma Sase 3.0 product bundle, along with the integration of IBM’s Watsonx large language models into Cortex Xsiam, signifies a deepening of their collaboration. This move is expected to bolster Palo Alto's competitive edge in the SIEM category, a space where it has rapidly gained traction since introducing Cortex Xsiam two years ago, achieving over $90 million in bookings in the latest quarter.

Growth and Market Impact

Both companies are poised to benefit from this partnership in terms of growth and market positioning. IBM aims to leverage Palo Alto’s advanced security tools to achieve its revenue growth targets, while Palo Alto Networks, which reported a 19% revenue jump in the January quarter, continues to outpace IBM in growth. The transaction, expected to close by the end of September pending regulatory approval, could further elevate Palo Alto's market capitalization, which has already surpassed $100 billion, and support IBM's valuation at $154 billion.

Management Quotes

  • Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto:

    "Clearly, it’s just a hotbed of activity in the consolidation in cybersecurity."

  • Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM (implied but not directly quoted):

    No direct quote provided; however, involvement and actions regarding the partnership with Palo Alto Networks are discussed.