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Zix acquires CloudAlly backup for SaaS data protection

Zix plans to integrate CloudAlly backup and recovery with its Secure Cloud email security and compliance platform. Backup was a technology that Zix needed.

Email security provider Zix has added SaaS to its portfolio.

When Zix acquired cloud backup and recovery provider CloudAlly last month for $30 million, it picked up backup for such popular SaaS applications as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Box and Dropbox.

CloudAlly backup will be part of Zix's Secure Cloud, which provides security, compliance and productivity in one platform. Features include encryption, information archiving, secure file sharing and threat mitigation.

Zix had been missing backup, said CMO Geoff Bibby.

"Backup is not new. Cloud backup is relatively new, but there's a lot of dissatisfaction in the market with the way people are serviced," Bibby said.

There is significant convergence within the cybersecurity field, said Doug Cahill, vice president and group director of cybersecurity at Enterprise Strategy Group. For example, backup vendor Carbonite acquired cybersecurity provider Webroot in 2019.

"A lot of organizations are fatigued with point tools," Cahill said. "We're a fan of these types of acquisitions and integrations."

It's a critical time for cybersecurity. Reports have shown that ransomware attacks are on the rise during the pandemic. Not only is backup important, but recoverability too.

"It's about protecting the data lifecycle," Cahill said. That's especially important for the midmarket, where data flows through multiple channels, including email.

Plans, guidance for Zix plus CloudAlly backup

Channel partners consistently asked Zix about backup, Bibby said.

There's a huge movement to consolidate services.
Geoff BibbyCMO, Zix

"There's a huge movement to consolidate services," he said.

The CloudAlly backup acquisition closed Nov. 9. CloudAlly had the right size, the right tech and a solid alignment of people, Bibby said.

In a sign of the times, the companies completed the acquisition remotely.

CloudAlly was a remote company before the coronavirus pandemic and adapted well to the new environment, said Mickey Schneider, marketing director at the business.

"It only increased productivity," Schneider said.

Bibby said the CloudAlly brand is known and will function as a standalone company.

Zix is aiming for June to have CloudAlly backup integrated with Secure Cloud.

Cahill said he will be looking for a tight technology integration of CloudAlly with the Zix platform to enable rapid recovery.

Within the email security market, cyberfraud continues to be a highly problematic trend, Cahill said. For example, attackers can make it look like a company executive is sending out an email to employees, but one click off that message and a virus hits.

User training and knowledge is important. 

"End-user vigilance should be augmented with modern controls that inspect the contents of the emails," Cahill said.

Founded in 2011 and based in Israel, CloudAlly claims more than 5,000 customers, 250,000 users and 600 managed service provider partners. Zix, with headquarters in Dallas, has 80,000 customers and 6,000 partners.

Zix has about 600 employees, including 60 from CloudAlly. The company is not planning on cutting employees following the acquisition, and will likely need additional staff for implementation, Bibby said.

Zix's email security competition includes Mimecast. Other SaaS backup providers include Acronis, Backupify, Barracuda, Druva, OwnBackup, Spanning and Veeam.

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