Napier University spinout Zonefox acquired by US cybersecurity firm

Edinburgh Napier University spinout ZoneFox, the cloud-based platform that combats ‘insider threats’ within companies and service providers, has been bought by cybersecurity firm Fortinet.

The US company is one of the world’s biggest enterprise security vendors, worth £10.7bn and with clients including some of the largest enterprise, service provider and government agencies around the world.

“Organisations are experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of endpoints [devices] and users accessing data and cloud resources,” said Ken Xie, Fortinet’s founder and chief executive. According to a recent report, 30% of breaches involved ‘insiders’ acting negligently or maliciously.

ZoneFox, which began as a PhD research project, was spun out of Napier by its founder and chief executive Dr Jamie Graves in 2009.

Graves said the acquisition encompasses “both our technology and entire team – which will enable our employees to thrive as part of the Fortinet family, whilst accelerating the route to global markets for our cutting-edge technology.

“ZoneFox will always have its roots in Scotland and will remain part of the local Scottish security community to both access and develop talent,” he added.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us on the journey so far; Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh Napier University, our seed and Angel Investors, mentors, customers, colleagues, friends, and family.”

Its clients include Craneware, Pinsent Masons, Rockstar Games, Virgin Care, and Zenith Bank. Shareholders include Scottish business angel investment syndicates, Archangels and TriCap, the Scottish Investment Bank, and Napier University.

Fortinet’s acquisition was driven by ZoneFox’s technologies that “distil billions of events per day into high-quality threat leads to uncover blind spots and to alert suspicious activities” and “unique architecture that captures essential data around five core factors; user, device, resource, process, and behaviour”.

Picture: Jamie Graves, courtesy ZoneFox.