Worawut - stock.adobe.com

Ivanti makes double acquisition of MobileIron, Pulse Secure

Ivanti will acquire all outstanding shares of MobileIron stock for approximately $872 million. The financial terms of Pulse Secure's acquisition were not disclosed.

Ivanti, an IT asset and endpoint management company, is acquiring two different security vendors in MobileIron and Pulse Secure.

Ivanti announced Monday that it signed definitive acquisition agreements with both MobileIron, a mobile-centric unified endpoint management vendor, and Pulse Secure, which specializes in secure remote access. Ivanti will pay approximately $872 million for all outstanding shares of MobileIron, while MobileIron stockholders will receive $7.05 per share in cash. The financial terms of Pulse Secure's acquisition were not disclosed.

Ivanti president Jeff Abbott told SearchSecurity that Ivanti was in talks with both companies and "they happened to close at the same time." He also explained how integration and independence was going to work for both acquisitions going forward.

"Pulse Secure will be run as an independent business unit with current CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna becoming the business unit leader when the transaction closes. The plan is for MobileIron to be fully integrated with Ivanti," Abbott said.

When SearchSecurity reached out for comment, a representative for MobileIron pointed to a blog post by president and CEO Simon Biddiscombe discussing the future of the company.

"The addition of MobileIron and Pulse Secure to Ivanti's product portfolio will further strengthen its core product offerings, extending their solutions to every device in the enterprise. Together, we will enable companies to discover, manage, secure, and service every endpoint in the Everywhere Enterprise, in which employees, IT infrastructures and customers are everywhere -- and mobile devices provide access to everything. Our mission hasn't changed, and together, we will continue to build solutions that help enable and secure workers in the Everywhere Enterprise," Biddiscombe said in the blog post.

Pulse Secure CMO Scott Gordon told SearchSecurity that "now was the right time to join forces" with Ivanti.

"Pulse Secure has built a comprehensive Secure Access product line and successful business that has enabled our customers to migrate from data center to multi-cloud and hybrid IT at their pace. Our value proposition became significantly relevant as infrastructure and operations teams quickly shifted resources to address work-from-home and flexible workplace capabilities in response to COVID-19 and beyond," Gordon said. "As organizations will accelerate investments towards more integrated, modular IT service management, endpoint management and access management platforms that support converged on-premise, edge and cloud environments, now was the right time to join forces as part of Ivanti to capture this market opportunity."

Steve Brasen, managing research director at analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates, said that the double acquisition "significantly bolsters Ivanti's secure access and end user enablement solutions."

"MobileIron not only brings with it broad mobile device support to further bolster Ivanti's unified endpoint management platform, it also provides a powerful mobile device authentication platform, providing Ivanti with much-needed identity and access management capabilities," he said. "Pulse Secure's offers strong network-based secure access solutions with features for enabling secure VPN connections, network access and control, and software-defined networks. The collective product sets will provide Ivanti with a comprehensive platform for centrally supporting data centers, networks, user devices, security and identity."

Liz Miller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said MobileIron and Pulse Secure complement Ivanti's existing product portfolio.

"The acquisition of Pulse Secure and MobileIron comes at the device and endpoint access from two different angles, but all leading to a more intentional zero-trust posture for devices. With Pulse Secure, you have access management, including a VPN solution that can flex in a multi-cloud scenario. MobileIron comes at this from the endpoint inbound with endpoint management from detection to monitoring," Miller said. "Combine this with Ivanti's patch management solutions and you have the opportunity to construct a device lifecycle management workflow that stretches from device detection and onboarding through to ongoing management."

Eric Parizo, senior analyst at Omdia (formerly Ovum), said the acquisitions show Ivanti is "going all-in on the concept of zero-trust access [ZTA]" amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made secure remote access a priority for many enterprises.

"MobileIron has strong identity technology, including single sign-on with passwordless multifactor authentication. Ivanti, no doubt, intends to integrate that technology with Pulse Secure's Zero Trust Access (PZTA) platform, a cloud-delivered solution for secure access to not only public, private, and multi-cloud applications, but also data center resources," Parizo said.

"This new combination will give Ivanti a zero-trust access solution, a class of technologies that facilitates secure access to applications and other IT resources across heterogeneous hybrid cloud environments. ZTA is quickly becoming a competitive requirement for any cybersecurity vendor that is in the business of secure client connectivity, and this move will, in turn, help keep Ivanti competitive going forward."

Next Steps

Zero-day flaw in Pulse Secure VPN exploited in attacks

Dig Deeper on Security operations and management

Enterprise Desktop
Cloud Computing