Rapid7 acquires ransomware detection specialist Minerva Labs for $38M

Rapid7 acquires ransomware detection specialist Minerva Labs for $38M

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Publicly traded cybersecurity provider Rapid7 Inc. has acquired Minerva Labs Ltd., a startup that helps companies detect and block ransomware.

Rapid7 announced the deal on Wednesday, disclosing that it will pay about $38 million for Minerva. The company intends to finance the transaction with a combination of cash and stock.

Boston-based Rapid7 sells cybersecurity tools that help organizations detect malware and vulnerabilities in their infrastructure. Alongside its software products, the company offers a managed threat detection and response service. The service allows enterprises to have Rapid7’s cybersecurity professionals monitor their networks for potential threats, as well as take remediative action when necessary.

Rapid7’s technology is used by more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. Its customers include Bloomberg LP, Qlik Technologies Inc. and other major enterprises. 

Minerva, the startup Rapid7 is acquiring, offers a cybersecurity platform focused on detecting ransomware. The platform is used by hundreds of companies to protect more than 1.5 million systems, according to the startup.

Advanced ransomware strands actively hide their presence to avoid detection. After infecting a machine, some types of ransomware can remain dormant for weeks or months before springing into action. In other cases, the malicious code deactivates itself when it detects the presence of antivirus software.

Ransomware programs activate when it appears that there is an opportunity to encrypt sensitive files. According to Minerva, its platform prevents ransomware from getting the impression that the coast is clear to activate. As a result, the malicious code stays dormant and data loss is averted. 

One way Minerva blocks cyberattacks is by hiding sensitive files from programs that aren’t authorized to access them. As a result, it becomes more difficult for ransomware to find data that can be encrypted. Minerva says its platform creates a situation where the malicious code must either remain dormant, or take steps that make it easier to detect.

Rapid7 will use Minerva’s technology to enhance its managed threat detection and response service. According to the company, the technology will enable its cybersecurity professionals to more effectively detect ransomware in the customer environments they monitor for threats. 

“Today, our MDR customers benefit from our proprietary detection and response technology, a fully integrated, world-class team of 24×7 security engineers, and leading security data science to detect, assess and respond to emerging threats,” said Jeremiah Dewey, the senior vice president of managed services delivery at Rapid7. “With Minerva, we are further extending our MDR capabilities with more advanced anti-evasion and malware prevention and orchestration from the endpoint to the cloud, as well as providing seamless support of existing, leading endpoint protection infrastructure.”

Rapid7’s professional services revenue grew 12% year-over-year last quarter, to $11.6 million. The revenue generated by the company’s cybersecurity software products, in turn, reached $172.9 million after increasing 22% over the preceding 12 months. 

The purchase of Minerva comes a few weeks after rumors emerged that Rapid7 could itself be acquired. According to Reuters, the company has received takeover interest from multiple prospective buyers including private equity firms.

Image: Minerva Labs

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