Palo Alto Networks shells out $410M for Portland’s Twistlock and its container security technology

Twistlock co-founders Dima Stopel (left), vice president of research and development, and Ben Bernstein, CEO. (Twistlock Photo)

Security will always be one of the top concerns of any major company doing business on the internet, and Palo Alto Networks announced Wednesday that it will acquire Portland-based Twistlock Security for $410 million to help secure the next generation of cloud workloads.

As part of the deal, Twistlock founders Ben Bernstein and Dima Stopel will join Palo Alto Networks, the company said in a press release. Twistlock had raised $63 million from investors such as Iconiq Capital, YL Ventures, TenEleven, Rally Ventures, Polaris Partners and Dell Technologies Capital, with the most recent round of $33 million arriving last August.

Twistlock’s security software helps companies who are adopting containers as part of their software development strategy make sure they are making that jump in a secure way. Early adopters of containers had trouble applying older security practices to this newer world, and while a lot of progress has been made on that front there are still lots of companies who have yet embrace the benefits of containers, which gives users much more flexibility when deploying applications across multiple environments.

That’s an opportunity for Palo Alto Networks, which tends to work with larger enterprise customers who still use a lot of traditional information technology products. All of the growth is in the cloud, however, and new applications built for the cloud will likely employ containers.

“Containers are the fastest growing segment across cloud technologies, and we look forward to offering our customers container security,” said Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto Networks, on a conference call announcing the company’s third-quarter earnings. “This allows us to look at both public cloud and private cloud.”

Twistlock is headquartered in downtown Portland, but it does a lot of its engineering work in Israel, which has a well-deserved reputation in the tech world for producing top-notch cybersecurity companies and engineers. Palo Alto Networks also announced Wednesday that it had acquired PureSec, an Israel-based security company focused on serverless computing.

[Editor’s note: This post was updated several times as more information became available.]

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