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Okta snatches up security firm Spera, reportedly for over $100M

Image Credits: Bloomberg / Getty Images
Image Credits: Bloomberg / Getty Images

Okta’s identity and access management provider purchases Spera, the security business. The Spera acquisition, which is anticipated to close during the fiscal first quarter starting in early February, will expand Okta’s current identity threat detection and response (ITDR) capabilities and provide clients with technology to “elevate their identity security, posture management, and identify, detect, and remediate risks,” according to Okta.

Although the agreement’s specifics remain undisclosed, Calcalist notes that Okta is paying between $100 million and $130 million for Spera, with milestone payments expected.

“As the top identity partner, we’re excited about how Spera Security can enhance our ITDR work to deliver more secure outcomes for our customers, and we’re committed to providing our customers with the tools and knowledge they need in an increasingly challenging environment,” the blog post on Okta’s website said this morning.

Entrepreneurs Dor Fledel and Ariel Kadyshevitch co-founded Spera a few years ago; my colleague Frederic has previously written about the company. The Palo Alto and Tel Aviv-based platform offers tools to detect silos between infrastructure apps and software-as-a-service, assisting in the identification of vulnerabilities across user populations and the prioritization of security concerns according to industry best practices, legislation, and attack vectors.

As Frederic said in his report, a service like Spera also helps businesses save their license fees by enabling them to identify inactive accounts that may be closed. This benefit extends beyond security.

Before being acquired by Okta, Spera, which employs roughly 25 people, had garnered $10 million in funding. Along with YL Ventures, angel investors from IT behemoths like Google, Palo Alto Networks, Akamai, and Zendesk were among the backers.

Spera’s ability to help its clients evaluate the security posture of their identity infrastructure, apps, and services is something Okta views as beneficial since it draws new users to the Okta platform. The business cites Gartner data suggesting that, from the current 5% to 20% of enterprises, 90% will utilize some embedded ITDR approach by 2026.

“We will provide our clients with enhanced technological capabilities and deeper insights through Spera Security, enabling them to better manage their identity security posture and promptly recognize, assess, and address potential threats,” the blog post goes on. “By following Spera Security’s specific advice, like making sure that privileged and service accounts are not used for single sign-on or multifactor authentication, they can improve their security and deal with any possible threat vectors before they become critical.”

Following the latter’s purchase of the a16z-backed password manager Uno and a positive fiscal quarter for Okta, the former has acquired Spera. In Q4, the $6 billion corporation outperformed Wall Street estimates, indicating that, at least in the eyes of shareholders, the publicly listed company is headed in the right direction.

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