Microsoft has acquired Israeli enterprise security firm Aorato, aiming to use the startup's expertise to boost the security of its hybrid cloud services.
Details of the deal have not been disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reports sources as saying that Microsoft paid $200m.
Aorato will stop selling its firewall product as the firm becomes integrated with Microsoft, according to Aorato's website.
Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of cloud and enterprise marketing at Microsoft, said in a Microsoft blog post that Aorato's machine learning technology, which detects suspicious activity on a company's network, is an attractive proposition for Microsoft cloud services.
"With Aorato we will accelerate our ability to give customers powerful identity and access solutions that span on-premises and the cloud, which is central to our overall hybrid cloud strategy," he said.
Numoto went on to explain how Aorato delivers its enterprise security, and how it could be used to benefit Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.
"Key to Aorato's approach is the Organizational Security Graph, a living, continuously updated view of all of the people and machines accessing an organisation's Windows Server Active Directory," he said.
"Active Directory is used by most enterprises to store user identities and administer access to critical business applications and systems.
"Therefore, most of our enterprise customers should be able to easily take advantage of Aorato's technology. This will complement similar capabilities that we have developed for Azure Active Directory."
Co-founded by veterans from the Israeli defence forces, Aorato remained a hidden company until January 2014 when it brought its Microsoft-centric enterprise security products to the technology market.
Aorato claims that the acquisition will help its goal of strengthening enterprise security with "an emphasis on user behaviour intelligence and analytics".
"Joining Microsoft gives us a unique opportunity to pursue this vision, and help customers at the broadest possible scale," the company said.
Prior to the acquisition, Aorato's core product was effectively a firewall for Microsoft's Active Directory, which monitored network behaviour and provided information if action needed to be taken to plug a security breach.
V3 contacted Microsoft for comment on the deal and whether the rumoured $200m amount is correct, but the company has not yet replied.
Microsoft appears to be making acquisitions focused on improving its cloud services. The firm recently purchased computing systems specialist GreenButton to boost its Azure business.
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