Content, Security Program Controls/Technologies, Network Security, SOC

ADT Acquires Datashield, Gains Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Cybersecurity Services

Timothy Whall
Timothy Whall

ADT has acquired DATASHIELD to push deep into managed detection and response (MDR) services and blend the worlds of physical security with network security. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Side note: It's at least the fourth key M&A deal involving MSSPs and MDR specialists in recent weeks.

Under terms of the ADT deal, which was finalized in October, DATASHIELD has been rebranded as ADT Cybersecurity. Also, DATASHIELD CEO Michael Malone is now senior VP, ADT Cybersecurity, reporting to ADT CEO Timothy J. Whall.

The newly minted ADT Cybersecurity promotes MDR services to midmarket and enterprise organizations. Generally speaking MDR cyber services differ in several ways from traditional managed security services -- though overlap between the two sectors is growing.

Managing Data for Improved Security

ADT Commercial and National Account customers that embrace ADT Cybersecurity services will also have access to SHIELDVision, a platform for organizing, managing, and collecting cyber intelligence. SHIELDVision also automates security analyst workflows to close the gap between cyberattack and breach detection time and remediation for customers, ADT asserts.

In a prepared statement, ADT's Whall described how physical and network security are converging. He said:

“Our goal is to provide ADT customers with the most comprehensive security solution to protect their business, and in today’s world, this not only means their physical premise, but also their network. For more than 143 years, ADT has been monitoring physical properties, and DATASHIELD will now allow us to extend that same level of security monitoring to the digital world. Michael and his team will infuse cybersecurity DNA into our core business, allowing us to provide an offering that will distinguish our brand as the premiere resource for end-to-end security.”

ADT's Evolution

ADT's history dates back to about 1863. Like many classic technology companies, ADT has spent recent years pivoting beyond its heritage to pursue digital opportunities. Apollo Global Management acquired ADT for nearly $7 billion back in 2016. Additional M&A deals have surfaced since that time.

For instance, ADT in October 2017 acquired Gaston Security -- a video surveillance integration company that also offers intrusion, access control, and perimeter protection.Gaston Security primarily serves the financial, commercial, industrial, educational and government sectors across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region of the United States, ADT indicated at the time of the deal.

MSSP, MDR Acquisitions Heat Up

The ADT-DATASHIELD deal is the third M&A transaction involving MSSP-type services in recent days. The other examples include (1) Optiv Security acquiring Conexsys, and (2) NTT Com buying Secure-24.

Moreover, MDR companies have been in hot demand. For instance,  Booz Allen Hamilton, a Top 100 MSSP for 2017, in October acquired Morphick, a 40-person cybersecurity firm that offers MDR services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.