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DNSFilter Acquires Apple iPhone Security, Privacy Company Guardian

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable businessman standing alone in his home office and texting on his cellphone

Threat protection and content filtering firm DNSFilter has acquired Guardian, a data privacy and security company known for Firewall + VPN technology -- which protects Apple iOS devices such as iPhones. Google Android device security also is a key focus area.

DNSFilter, an MSP-friendly company, announced the acquisition during the Black Hat 2022 cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

What does DNSFilter gain? The simple answer: The Guardian Firewall + VPN integrates into the Brave browser's iPhone, iPad and Android apps, DNSFilter explained. The integration stops third-party tracking and blocks unwanted surveillance with protection at the network level on the entire device, the buyer asserted.

This is technology M&A deal number 721 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2022.

DNSFilter Buys Guardian: Security Business Backgrounds

Guardian, headquartered in San Francisco, California, has 146 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile. The company launched its Firewall security software for iOS in August 2019.

DNSFilter, located in Washington, D.C., has 110 employees. The company raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Insight Partners in July 2021.

Ken Carnesi, DNSFilter CEO and co-founder, explained the advantage in acquiring Guardian:

“Secure Web Gateway (SWG) plays a critical role in modern security strategies, enabling organizations to better secure access to the service edge. But the technology is tired. Incumbents have not kept pace with the evolving threat landscape or customer needs around service and support. Combining best-in-class Domain Name System (DNS) layer security with Firewall + VPN presents a massive business opportunity and alleviates the pain points customers face with legacy SWG technology.”

Looking Ahead: DNSFilter Eyes Market Disruption

Guardian’s technology provides the foundation for “DNSFilter to disrupt the SWG market,” adding full URL, file type, IP and port filtering along with VPN capabilities. DNSFilter says its “predictive DNS protection further enhances the security of Guardian users.” Additionally, “Guardian’s highly efficient Secure Web Gateway software stack enables filtering of new internet traffic layers for DNSFilter customers beyond DNS.”

Will Strafach, Guardian founder and CEO, cheered the deal:

“We are thrilled to join DNSFilter, the category leader in DNS layer security and a like-minded team that shares our beliefs on privacy and delivering quality software to protect devices. Guardian and DNSFilter place a high priority on in-house security research to best protect our customers and remain steadfast in our mission to allow users to take back control of the personal data and information they share while using any device. Guardian solutions are a perfect complement to DNSFilter as the company broadens its platform offerings.”

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.