Phishing firm nets $400M price tag

A Northern Virginia cybersecurity firm focused on phishing defense solutions has been acquired by a consortium of private equity firms in a $400 million deal.

With the transaction, PhishMe of Leesburg, Virgnia has changed its name to Cofense. The company said the new name reflects the breadth of its offerings beyond phishing defenses to include attack detection, response and what it calls “orchestration” solutions.

Cofense has several federal government customers but declined to name them.

With the new backing of the private equity groups (which also were not disclosed), the company plans to pursue acquisitions as well as organic growth. The company has more than 1,700 customers in 50 countries and across 23 industry verticals.

The company has training programs that help people identify phishing activity. This is coupled with technology solutions to combat the attacks. Cofence says it in essence turns people into sensors on the network.

“The Cofense solution set leverages internal employee-generated attack intelligence in concert with purpose-built response technologies to break the attack kill chain at delivery,” said CEO and co-founder Rohyt Belani.

The company has been growing rapidly with an 80 percent compound annual growth rate over the last four years. Its PhishMe Report product has been installed on 10 million work stations, the company says.

Cooley LLP served as Cofense’s outside counsel and Boston Meridian was its financial adviser.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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