Cloudflare, Inc. a security, performance, and reliability firm striving to build a better Internet, has agreed to buy Area 1 Security. Area 1 Security's cloud-native software, which integrates with any email provider, prevents phishing assaults by detecting and deleting them before they can cause harm in the workplace. As a result, the organization stopped more than 40 million harmful phishing operations in 2021 alone, including business email compromise, malware, ransomware, and other advanced threats.
“Email is the largest cyber-attack vector on the Internet, which makes integrated email security-critical to any true Zero Trust network. That’s why today we’re welcoming Area 1 Security to help make Cloudflare’s platform the clear leader in Zero Trust, To us, the future of Zero Trust includes an integrated, one-click approach to securing all of an organization’s applications, including its most ubiquitous cloud application, email. Together, we expect we’ll be delivering the fastest, most effective, and most reliable email security on the market.”
Matthew Prince, co-founder, and CEO of Cloudflare
Malicious phishing attacks, especially business email intrusion, are the most costly, according to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center 2020 Internet Crime Report, with U.S. businesses losing more than $1.8 billion. For example, the JPMorgan Chase breach, in which a phishing attack impacted 76 million households and 7 million small businesses; SolarWinds, in which phishing led to the compromise of 18,000 customers, including multiple government agencies; Sony Pictures, in which a phishing attack reportedly resulted in the theft of more than 100 terabytes of proprietary data; and the United States elections, in which phishing has been cited as the cause of damage inflicted "The biggest challenges with email are its ubiquity and our readiness to trust it," Forrester says. Everyone has an email account, and many of them have many accounts, making it an easy target for hackers." As a result, businesses of all sizes must explore how to incorporate email solutions into their broader security stack and strengthen it with global threat intelligence. As a result, email continues to be an attractive entry point for increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
Research Director for IDC’s Network Security Products and Strategies, Chris Rodriguez, notes, "Email is often the largest cloud application for any organization; and also represents the largest attack vector. Instead of viewing email security as a standalone issue, more businesses realize that it needs to be part of their holistic security strategy. The combination of Cloudflare and Area 1 Security offers customers a uniquely differentiated and comprehensive Zero Trust offering with coverage across the entire threat lifecycle."
“Today, email is a business’ most-used cloud application. It's unfortunately unprotected. We estimate that more than 90% of cyber security damages are the result of just one thing: phishing," said Patrick Sweeney, CEO, and President of Area 1 Security. "By combining our leading phishing protection and threat intelligence capabilities with Cloudflare’s global network, data capabilities, and Zero Trust platform, we truly believe that together we can help companies of any size better secure their entire network infrastructure and better protect against the most destructive cyber risks.”
In 2021, Cloudflare launched its Advanced Email Security Suite, which includes creating bespoke email names, managing incoming email routing, and preventing email spoofing and phishing on outgoing emails. Because Cloudflare's global network blocks an average of 86 billion cyber threats per day, it has unique threat intelligence data that can help it better filter out targeted phishing attacks (spear phishing) and other security threats that legacy email security solutions and API-only email security offerings may miss. Area 1 Security has long adopted a proactive approach to email security to halt phishing operations in their infancy. The two businesses will create a complete Zero Trust solution that clients may enable through Cloudflare's global edge by combining Area 1 Security's highly scalable technology and years of experience in email protection with Cloudflare's worldwide network.
Cloudflare will pay $162 million for Area 1 Security, subject to normal adjustments, with 40-50 percent of the amount paid in Cloudflare's Class A common stock and the rest paid in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to usual closing conditions.