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MSSP Optiv Buys Government Cybersecurity Specialist ClearShark

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Optiv, a security solutions integrator and Top 250 MSSP, has more than doubled its federal presence with the acquisition of government cybersecurity value-added reseller (VAR) ClearShark for an undisclosed sum, according to a prepared statement.

This is technology M&A deal number 73 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2023.

Optiv, founded in 2015, is based in Denver, Colorado. The company has 2,454 employees listed on LinkedIn. Optiv's areas of expertise include managed security services, threat and vulnerability management and cloud security.

ClearShark, founded in 2001, is based in Hanover, Maryland. The company has 64 employees listed on LinkedIn. ClearShark's areas of expertise include cybersecurity, big data and data center and cloud infrastructure.

What the ClearShark Acquisition Means for Optiv and Its Customers

ClearShark expands Optiv's federal team, cybersecurity services and solutions, technical capabilities and federal resources. As such, ClearShark is helping Optiv create a "federal sector powerhouse," the companies said.

In addition, ClearShark now serves as the "cornerstone" of Optiv's federal business, Optiv CEO Kevin Lynch said. It also ensures that Optiv is better equipped than ever before to help federal agencies and contractors maintain a strong cybersecurity posture, Lynch noted.

Optiv Hires GM for Federal Business, Earns Contract from Canadian Government

The ClearShark acquisition comes after Optiv in September 2022 appointed cybersecurity industry veteran John Trauth as general manager of Optiv Federal, which offers cybersecurity solutions and services to federal departments and agencies. Trauth leads Optiv Federal as it looks to "partner with federal organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs," the company indicated.

Previously, Optiv in August 2022 was awarded the first major enterprise contract under the Shared Services Canada's (SSC) cybersecurity procurement vehicle (CSPV). With the contract, Optiv provides its network device authentication solution to help the Canadian government manage device certificates across its IT infrastructure, the company stated.

Optiv offers cybersecurity solutions and services to more than 6,000 organizations globally. The company also has established partnerships with over 450 technology vendors.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.