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KnowBe4 Acquires CrowdStrike Security Awareness Training Partner SecurityAdvisor


KnowBe4 is acquiring SecurityAdvisor, a CrowdStrike partner that offers security awareness, training and automation, for roughly $80 million in cash, stock and various earnout components. The deal's valuation -- in terms of a revenue or EBITDA multiple -- was not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 658 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2021.

SecurityAdvisor Business Focus, Venture Funding

Founded in 2018, SecurityAdvisor has a partner program for MSSPs, MSPs and resellers. Using the SecurityAdvisor platform, the company claims enterprises can:

  • Reduce overall security incidents by 70%
  • Reduce email phishing attacks by more than 50%
  • Lower endpoint malware detections by more than 90%
  • Cut web violations in half
  • Decrease removable media incidents by more than 90%

Through this acquisition, KnowBe4 will "continue to add deeper insights into human behavior through the correlation of real-world, real-time human security events by expanding the capabilities of its security awareness platform across the security stack," the buyer said.

SecurityAdvisor was venture-backed ahead of the deal. The company in February 2021 raised $7.3 million in Series A funding led by ClearSky Security along with additional investment from Crosslink Capital, SixThirty Ventures, and Cyber Mentor Fund.

In a February 2021 company descriptor, SecurityAdvisor said platform "integrates easily within existing security infrastructure to deliver targeted coaching that teaches employees how to identify and remediate cyberattacks while providing security teams with insights that help them better understand the human element of their organization's security posture."

The SecurityAdvisor effort included integrations with CrowdStrike and other security vendors to "provide visibility across the entire organization for security teams and quantifies security teams' ROI."

KnowBe4 Acquires SecurityAdvisor: Executive Perspectives

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman
KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman

In a prepared statement about the acquisition, Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4, said:

“We remain committed to strengthening the human defense layer within security architecture and, with the addition of the SecurityAdvisor technology to the existing KnowBe4 platform, we believe we are creating a new category of security called Human Detection and Response or HDR. We see this combination as a great addition to the existing capabilities of our platform as we believe it will enable true behavioral change and help build a more effective and mature security culture much faster. Finally, we view the addition of SecurityAdvisor to our platform as an accelerator to our product roadmap.”

Added Krish Venkataraman, KnowBe4’s co-president and CFO:

“This acquisition is expected to expand our total addressable market through the addition of HDR functionality to the platform and will provide immediate enhancements to our R&D teams. This addition to our cross-sell capabilities will also provide an opportunity for us to continue to grow with our existing customer base."

Curiously, SecurityAdvisor executives were neither mentioned nor quoted in the M&A announcement.

KnowBe4 IPO, Previous Acquisitions

KnowBe4 launched an IPO in April 2021, and has acquisition experience. The company acquired MediaPRO in March 2021 and CLTRe in May 2019.

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.