Ross Wilkers

M&A

Booz Allen spins out SnapAttack cyber product shop

Booz Allen Hamilton is somewhat letting go of a commercial cybersecurity product shop that is now a standalone company with the added backing of two venture capital firms.

Although as indicated, Booz Allen is not completely exiting from its relationship with cloud-based cyber threat hunting software maker SnapAttack. Booz Allen said Monday it is keeping a “significant minority stake” in SnapAttack, for which the government technology consulting and services firm will act as the primary channel partner for in the federal market.

Volition Capital and Strategic Cyber Ventures are the new investors backing SnapAttack. Those venture capital and growth equity firms tout their focus areas as on founder-run software businesses that show promise for fast expansion.

The SnapAttack product was developed by Booz Allen’s Dark Labs organization that includes security researchers, threat hunters, penetration testers, reverse engineers, network analysts and data scientists

Their idea was to come up with both a product and techniques within it that can stop cyberattacks before they occur.

SnapAttack is designed to combine threat intelligence, attack emulation and detection analytics to both help organizations identify potential vulnerabilities and risks, plus strengthen systems before threat actors attempt similar techniques to their IT environments.

Post-separation, the SnapAttack product development team will continue to be led by the product’s original developers in Chief Technology Officer Fred Frey and Chief Product Officer Tim Nary. Both started their careers at Booz Allen.

Government contractors letting go of commercial cybersecurity businesses over recent years is nothing new, even as Booz Allen uses small acquisitions like that of Tracepoint to build up its own chops in that market.

But in the case of Booz Allen, the company apparently has a more narrow focus on commonalities to look for between what it does for federal agencies and can do for commercial clients. Booz Allen sees the reverse as also true, albeit with a different lens.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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