NDR, Network Security

IronNet to go public in $1.2 billion deal, as CEO Alexander warns of start of ‘digital arms race’


IronNet Cybersecurity announced a $1.2 billion agreement Monday with special purpose acquisition company LGL Systems Acquisition Corp. to go public.

The combined company will move forward as IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., and be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IRNT. Company officials expect the company to go public by the third quarter of 2021.

IronNet and LGL also have the backing of large institutional investors, including  Emles Advisors, Weiss Asset Management, and The Phoenix Insurance Company. Other investors are Bridgewater Associates, ForgePoint Capital, and Kleiner Perkins.

Founded in 2014 by former NSA and U.S. Cyber Command chief Keith Alexander, IronNet was created to more effectively defend organizations against cyber adversaries and increasingly sophisticated attacks that traditional security tools find it hard to detect.

The company’s Collective Defense platform features proprietary and patented technology that detects cyber anomalies and shares anonymized threat data in real-time. In doing so, IronNet aims to deliver higher levels of visibility into potential incoming threats.

“Today marks an important milestone as we work to advance IronNet’s ability to defend enterprises, sectors and nations against increasingly sophisticated attacks,” said Alexander, founder, chairman of the board and co-CEO of IronNet. “We face the beginning of a digital arms race in which adversaries are using cybersecurity attacks as a tool to wreak havoc, including destruction, intelligence-gathering, and extortion – ultimately presenting an existential economic threat to the public and private sectors.”

The announcement from IronNet today shows the value investors see in making a cyber detection product that’s cloud-based and also leverages artificial intelligence, said Andrew Barratt, managing principal, solutions and investigations at Coalfire.

“The ability to scale these capabilities will give businesses of all sizes enhanced defense capabilities over traditional signature-based detection,” Barratt said. “With significant investors from the insurance industry, as well as major asset management, by committing to this we might well see it make a significant impact on the value of other organizations also leveraging similar capabilities not looking to list yet.”

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