Threat intelligence software developer Ontic on Tuesday announced that it has acquired SIGMA Threat Management Associates, a provider of security consulting, threat assessment and training services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Though the companies had previously worked together as partners, the merger will enable Ontic to scale its offerings and moves it beyond being just another layer in an organization’s technology stack to one that provides a more comprehensive suite of solutions.
According to Ontic CEO Lukas Quanstrom, when they initially integrated the SIGMA threat assessment module into their threat intelligence platform last summer it really opened their eyes to the benefits of working together for the sake of end-users and their own respective organizations.
“SIGMA’s expertise and methodology in threat assessment training and in certifications strengthens the holistic view of our entire solution – giving security teams the ability to tap into a unified platform and consultative services on top of that platform – so they have all the data they need, all the tools, and all of the strategy and support that [SIGMA] can now bring to the table in one place,” Quanstrom explains.
Having spent over 25 years in the field of threat assessment, Dr. Marisa Randazzo, the Founder and CEO of SIGMA, says as soon as they started working with Ontic, she wished she had had the capabilities provided by their software throughout the course of her career.
“It is an essential tool for anyone that does protection, works in corporate security, works in campus security, etc.,” Randazzo says. “The partnership we had over the past year prior to this acquisition, we have gotten to learn each other’s cultures and understand that we have a shared vision and a shared mission of helping our protectors keep their organizations safe, so we found that we were working together more and more and when the opportunity for acquisition came up to me it just made perfect sense. It is going to allow SIGMA, working now as part of Ontic, to really help create a software platform and services that are a game changer for the field of protection and safety generally.”
Additionally, Quanstrom says that SIGMA will help them fill the gap that currently exists relative to how end-users leverage the Ontic platform in conjunction with threat assessment methodologies.
“How do we help customers apply all of the learnings and stay up-to-date? It is not just about the technologies or consulting services,” Quanstrom explains. “If you look back to what we’re doing with Fred [Burton] and the [Ontic] Center for Protective Intelligence, there is a lot of thought leadership and education that is going on to help companies know what is available to them and then how to apply that so that they can make decisions to keep their people safe.”
Randazzo says organizations have also faced an increased volume of threats over the past year and a half with the COVID-19 pandemic and that many security professionals today are simply overwhelmed; however, this merger could alleviate some of this burden for Ontic and SIGMA clients respectively.
“What this acquisition does is help bring, to Ontic clients, that subject matter expertise in house and, for Sigma clients, helps to introduce them to a tool that is going to help make their job of assessing threats that much more efficient and be able to give those people in corporate security and campus security – people whose job it is to keep us safe – a tool to go to and in-house expertise for those situations where they really need it most,” she adds.
A Cultural Fit
Though other companies had inquired about acquiring SIGMA over the past several years, Randazzo says it was a completely different experience engaging in talks with the Ontic team having had that previous exposure to the culture of the organization.
“The culture at Ontic that we had come to know over the past year as a partner is a culture that I respect tremendously because it is mission-driven,” she explains. “Everyone here, no matter what their position is, is focused on helping those who protect do their job better and helping keep people safe and that has been our mission at SIGMA all along. We were able to bring a depth to that and breadth to that and really complement the software that they’ve already built. We are helping to tweak that and make it better and also have this in-house expertise that we can offer to clients when they need it.”
Randazzo says that SIGMA will continue to provide best practice training, risk assessments, consultation, and their other range of services as they are integrated into Ontic.
“In many ways, nothing changes from what we’ve already been doing in terms of that integrated threat assessment methodology that has already been there, but I do think there is even more opportunities for companies, not only to assess threats that exist to the company, but they can do that in many different ways,” Quanstrom says. “There’s risk assessments, compliance assessments, and there is so much work that still yet needs to be done to help companies understand their risk landscape – whether that is around a facility, an executive, or students – the opportunities are still so great I don’t think that we’ve yet seen the market mature to place where we hope to take it with now Ontic and SIGMA together.”
Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected].