Splunk explores SIEM market with Metafor acquisition

Contact: Scott Crawford Dan Raywood Scott Denne

Splunk has made its third acquisition with the pickup of anomaly-detection startup Metafor Software. With this deal, Splunk will add fewer than 15 employees to its roster. And, although terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, the acquisition (like its previous purchases) is likely modest. Splunk paid $21m in its acquisition of Cloudmeter at the end of 2013, and $9m for BugSense earlier that year.

That doesn’t mean it can’t have an outsized impact on Splunk. The deal expands two related core functionalities into the portfolio (machine learning and anomaly detection), which will raise its profile among both IT operations management and security buyers keen to broaden and improve capabilities for detecting unexpected or malicious activity.

The acquisition raises the bar for competitors in both IT operations management and security. Challengers such as LogRhythm and AlienVault are reshaping the competitive landscape for SIEM incumbents such as HP ArcSight. Meanwhile, IBM has gained considerably from Q1Labs capabilities, which were originally differentiated through network flow-based anomaly detection. Improved SIEM performance was a good deal of the rationale behind McAfee’s (now part of Intel) 2011 acquisition of NitroSecurity. All in this space are further challenged today by a number of emerging security-analytics plays that expand capabilities in security information management performance and volume in a variety of ways.

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