On Jan. 19, the private equity firm that bought FireEye and McAfee Enterprise announced that the two acquisitions would “emerge” to form Trellix, a cybersecurity business with 5,000 employees and 40,000 customers.
The goal is to offer “an integrated security platform designed to protect customers across endpoints, infrastructure, applications, and in the cloud,” Trellix officials said. The move also represents some disintegration, too, as it becomes the latest milestone in a shakeup involving some of the industry’s biggest names.
The private equity firm — Silicon Valley-based Symphony Technology Group (STG) — finished its $4 billion acquisition of McAfee Enterprise in July, then bought much of FireEye in a deal that closed in October for $1.2 billion.
With those two units forming Trellix, here’s where things stand for the relevant pieces:
Bryan Palma, a FireEye executive vice president, is the new company’s CEO. In a Jan. 19 blog post, he repeated the company’s line that “Trellix” is supposed to evoke a garden trellis, because the goal is to provide “living security” to other companies. What does that mean? The emphasis will be on artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, Trellix says. The more practical goal, Palma told VentureBeat, is “to be the market leader in XDR,” otherwise known as extended detection and response.
The business that made McAfee famous in the first place — protecting individual consumers from online threats — will now be its entire focus. Those services include traditional antivirus software, identity protection services and a “smart VPN that automatically turns on when you need it.” New subscribers can get all three for about $70 a year; after that it’s about $160. The company’s stock remains on the Nasdaq exchange.
The introduction of Trellix essentially wipes out the FireEye name. The company came to prominence in the early 2010s for its network protection and endpoint security software, then raised more than $300 million in a 2013 initial public offering. After acquiring Mandiant in 2014, it then became synonymous with high-profile incident response, including hacks against Sony Pictures, Target, JP Morgan Chase and Anthem health care. It also was the target of nation-state hackers in late 2020. Software like the Helix platform will lose its FireEye branding as 2022 rolls on, a Trellix spokesperson told CyberScoop.
Some of FireEye’s history survives with Mandiant, which took over the former parent company’s Nasdaq listing as FEYE and changed it to MNDT in October. Founder and CEO Kevin Mandia is still in charge, and incident response remains at the top of the company’s offerings, which also include cybersecurity readiness programs (like training for customers’ employees) and testing services (like red-teaming).
The firm isn’t done spinning off businesses created by last year’s deals. In announcing Trellix, it also said it expects to “launch the McAfee Enterprise Secure Service Edge (SSE) portfolio as a separate business later this quarter, inclusive of Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).”