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Cybersecurity Mergers, Acquisitions: MSSP Activity Remains Strong

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) ranked among the top sectors for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Q3 2018, according to Momentum Cybersecurity’s latest tracking report.

Of the total M&A cybersecurity action for the period, most involved identity and access management companies, followed by those engaged in security consulting, risk and compliance, and MSSPs. Overall, M&A deal size continued to increase while financing activity remained strong.

By the close of the quarter, strategic deal making had accelerated, with 137 transactions deploying $6.4B across M&A (38 transactions valued at $5 billion) and financing (99 transactions worth $1.4B), Momentum said in its 179-page report, Cybersecurity Market Review Q3 2018. Deal value for the period increased 204 percent from the prior quarter.

Here’s some data highlights:

M&A activity:

  • Q3 2018 M&A activity featured six transactions valued at more than $100M.
  • Over the last eight quarters financial and strategic buyers have completed $36.8B in M&A transactions.

Key players/deals:

Financing activity:

  • 54% of deals were early stage (seed to Series A), with a median amount raised of $4M. The remainder were late-stage (Series B+) with a median amount raised of $18M.
  • The most active sectors for financing activity in Q3 2018 included risk & compliance (15), identity & access management (14), security operations/incident response/threat Intelligence (13) & network & infrastructure security (13).

Market sizes of key industry sectors:

  • Data-centric security market size is estimated to grow from $2.1B in 2017 to $5.83B by 2022 (CAGR of 23.1%).
  • Global cloud access security brokers market is projected to grow from $3.3B in 2015 to $7.5B by 2020 (CAGR of 17.6%.
  • Network and infrastructure security technology market size is estimated to grow from $1.0B in 2016 to $2.1B by 2021 (CAGR of 15.1%).
  • Security analytics market is estimated to grow from $2.8B in 2016 to $9.4B by 2021 (CAGR of 27.1%).
  • Privileged identity management is expected to grow to $3.8B by 2021 (CAGR of 33%).
  • Global endpoint detection & response market is expected to reach approximately $1.5 billion by 2020.


  • The average and median enterprise value for cybersecurity transactions since 2010 was $227M and $42M, respectively.
  • M&A transactions in cybersecurity have been below $100M 66.8% of the time.
  • Transactions greater than $1B are rare, representing 5% of all deals.
  • The $4.4B raised across 307 transactions through YTD 2018 outpaces the first three quarters of 2017 by $613M in funding volume.
  • Over the last eight quarters investors have poured $10.3B into cybersecurity. The $1.4B invested in Q3 2018 made it five of the past six quarters with over $1B invested.