VMWare acquiring network security firm Lastline

Lastline acquisition will further increase VMWare's Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit capabilities.

VMware, a well known American publicly traded software company, has announced its intent to acquire Lastline, an anti-malware cybersecurity company, for research and to yield innovative security capabilities. The deal will close by July 31, and the startup has not disclosed much about it. 

“Upon the close of the deal, we will bring a world-class team of network-focused, anti-malware researchers and developers, and go-to-market security experts, into the NSX team,” Tom Gillis, senior vice president, and general manager of VMware’s networking and security business unit wrote in a blog post.

Lastline deals in products with full-system emulation that detects every kind of malware and perform research on them. It has an AI-powered network detection system that just not depends on traditional directory of malwares but also detects malicious behaviors, protecting more than 20 million users worldwide, including one of the largest financial institutions. 

Based in Redwood, California, Lastline has been enjoying growth since being founded in 2011. It has raised a total of $52.2 million and employs 156 researchers, engineers, and analysts. Lastline also has 15 Ph.Ds and academics in its staff that includes the world’s most published security threat researchers. Gillis is hopeful that the combination of Lastline and Carbon Black, a cloud-native endpoint security software developer, can benefit VMware with a better understanding of the motivations and tactics of malware attackers. 

Lastline was listed among the top 25 Cybersecurity Companies of 2018

“We will combine this context with a deep understanding of the host provided by Carbon Black. Lastline malware analysis will become a critical feed for our Carbon Black EDR and NGAV platform, which currently helps secure more than 10 million endpoints and workloads around the globe,” Gillis added.


With the acquisition, VMware plans to lay off approximately 40% of the Lastline staff and move the rest of the team to its NSX network and security virtualization department. VMware’s NSX platform enables the implementation of virtual networks on physical networks and within virtual server infrastructure.

“The NSX architecture will allow Lastline to perform network analytics at massive scale, across tens of thousands of cores, without the burden of tapping network traffic. Furthermore, NSX has an intrinsic understanding of application topology and speaks Layer 7. So it knows the difference between a web server and a database and understands what an application is doing,” Gillis further said in a statement. 

“By joining forces with VMware, we will be able to offer additional capabilities to our customers and bring to market comprehensive security solutions for the data center, branch office, and remote and mobile users,” Lastline’s Chief Executive Officer, John DiLullo explained in the official blog post.

VMware has been focusing on supporting cloud-native hybrid and multi-cloud deployments and thinks of Lastline as the perfect fit for its overall strategy. With the third major acquisition of the year, VMware aims to expand its enterprise solutions and cloud security tools. 

Before Lastline, VMware has acquired a network analytics firm Nyansa, cloud-native security platform Octarine, and a security firm Carbon Black. 

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