Advent Insights

Forescout: Security for a connected world

Bryan Taylor

August 17, 2020

I am pleased to share that Advent has completed the acquisition of Forescout Technologies, the leader in Enterprise of Things (EoT) security. We’re incredibly excited about the future of our partnership and are thrilled to be working with Crosspoint Capital Partners on this investment, given their strong track record of driving innovation and business transformation as operators at leading cybersecurity companies.

Addressing a critical security issue

Forescout is at the center of one of the most profound challenges in cybersecurity – the Enterprise of Things. Today, there are billions of unsecured devices connected to enterprises around the world. These items stretch across the Internet of Things, operational technology, workloads and managed devices, and run the gamut from lightbulbs and IP cameras to factory equipment and HVAC systems. And the move to the cloud and rush to a remote workforce have spurred further growth in device connectivity.

We live in an age where a smart thermometer in a lobby fish tank can provide hackers unfettered access to a company’s most sensitive data.

Organizations have readily embraced connected devices because they offer increased capabilities and efficiencies, such as monitoring and automation. But these benefits come with significant risks. Many of these devices have not been designed with security in mind, and each presents a new door for an attacker to enter and compromise an environment. We live in an age where a smart thermometer in a lobby fish tank can provide hackers unfettered access to a company’s most sensitive data. Safeguarding organizations from these connected devices is one of the most critical security issues of our time.

Evolution of a cybersecurity leader

Forescout recognized early on the increasing threat posed by the proliferation of connected devices and pioneered “agentless visibility.” This technology enables companies to monitor activity across disparate networks without the need to install specialized software on the long tail of connected devices for tracking and control. It allows organizations across every industry to accurately classify risk, detect anomalies and quickly remediate cyberthreats without disruption of critical business assets.

Enterprises can use Forescout’s device intelligence – including data from more than 80 million devices at thousands of other customers – to identify, segment and enforce compliance of EVERY connected thing.

Now the company is developing solutions that enable active defense for the Enterprise of Things – at scale and in real time – so enterprises can control their vast array of devices and not become victims of them. Forescout already arms customers with more device intelligence than any other vendor in the world. Its new technology will allow organizations to continuously protect themselves from threats through up-to-date, cloud-scale risk analysis – all informed by the network effect and data from more than 80 million devices at thousands of other customers. They can then use that knowledge to identify, segment and enforce compliance of EVERY connected thing.

Advent Tech: Building juggernauts

Forescout is the seventh investment by Advent’s dedicated technology fund, which has also backed leading growth businesses such as Aareon, Conservice, Definitive Healthcare, Thrasio, and Transaction Services Group. Advent Tech’s mission is to partner with innovative management teams to build the next generation of tech juggernauts, and Forescout embodies many of the attributes we seek in a business:

  • Its mission-critical technology protects the largest and most complicated organizations around the world from one of the most meaningful cybersecurity threats of our time.
  • It has a relentless customer focus with a track record of innovation and delivering best-in-class solutions to the market.
  • Its proprietary, agentless technology is highly differentiated and serves as a strong base to continue delivering value to customers in the form of accelerated innovation and new products long into the future.

The power of partnership

Advent and our partners at Crosspoint Capital look forward to working with Mike DeCesare and his talented team at Forescout to build on the company’s success and continue delivering solutions to secure the Enterprise of Things.

We’ll look to draw on our experience helping to guide and grow some of the most notable cybersecurity companies. In addition to my roles as former Chair of McAfee and current Director of Tanium, the Crosspoint Capital team brings significant technical and industry expertise, as well as first-hand insight about being a Forescout customer. Greg Clark, Managing Partner at Crosspoint, is the former CEO of Symantec and Blue Coat, and has joined Forescout’s Board. Crosspoint Managing Partner Hugh Thompson is the former CTO of Symantec and Blue Coat, and one of the world’s leading experts on cybersecurity and privacy.

Our partnership will enable Forescout to invest more aggressively in its product and technology roadmap to deliver the leading-edge solutions customers need.

We believe that the acquisition and our collective involvement will benefit Forescout in a number of ways:

  • Increased decision-making flexibility – Forescout was previously listed on NASDAQ, and with the closing of the transaction, it is now a private company. As such, it will be able to address near-term business priorities and make long-term strategic decisions that position it for future success without the pressure of public-market expectations.
  • Accelerated business transformation – Advent and Crosspoint Capital will bring our experience with business model transitions to help Forescout step up its shift to cloud-delivered SaaS offerings and make revenue more predictable.
  • Investment in product innovation – Our partnership will enable the company to invest more aggressively in its product and technology roadmap to deliver the leading-edge solutions customers need.

And we have a great foundation on which to build. Looking at all that Forescout has already accomplished, I applaud its employees for their commitment and passion in developing the business into what it is today. I look forward to working together to elevate the company to new levels of success.

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