Thoma Bravo: Securing digital identities has become a major priority

Thoma Bravo is a private equity firm with a 40+ year history, including over $114 billion in assets under management, and a focus on investing in software and technology companies. Last week they completed the acquisition of SailPoint, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6.9 billion.

In this Help Net Security interview, Andrew Almeida, Partner on the Flagship team at Thoma Bravo, talks about the firm’s recent acquisition of SailPoint, and about innovation in the enterprise identity space.


Over the years, Thoma Bravo acquired some influential cybersecurity companies. How does SailPoint fit into your line-up?

SailPoint is the leading name in identity security, and they are poised for tremendous growth in the coming years. Identity security has become a focal point in the cybersecurity industry, particularly as attackers become more and more adept at stealing credentials, conducting social engineering attacks, and exploiting poor identity security hygiene within large enterprises.

We acquired SailPoint because we believe that with the resources and strategic support we can provide and the added flexibility afforded by going private, SailPoint will be able to more quickly scale to drive accelerated innovation in identity security that meets and even exceeds market demand. We believe that because of the combination of the market dynamics in the broader identity space, combined with SailPoint’s leading product portfolio, the company will eventually be viewed in the same light as security visionaries like CrowdStrike and Palo Alto Networks.

What’s next for SailPoint? What are your priorities for the future of the company?

We didn’t acquire SailPoint so we could tell them what to do—just the opposite, in fact. We believe in SailPoint’s vision for identity security, and we’d like to help them accelerate that vision. The demand for robust identity security solutions is growing rapidly as businesses look for ways to better secure their digital business operations and reduce their overall risk across greater attack surfaces. With this, more and more businesses are undergoing holistic business transformation and looking for ways to keep their growing list of digital identities secure.

Our main priority for SailPoint is to help them take advantage of the ripe opportunities in the current landscape and execute their goal to become the de facto identity platform for the modern enterprise.

In looking to the future, now private, Thoma Bravo believes in SailPoint’s potential to expand current markets, penetrate new markets, and accelerate innovation in identity security on a global scale.

What type of innovation do you expect to see in the enterprise identity space and what will SailPoint’s role be in that process?

The cybersecurity industry is evolving quickly, and identity security is no exception. Over the past few years, for example, we’ve seen the rate of cloud adoption skyrocket. While previously not a pressing consideration, as businesses expand their ecosystem of cloud platforms, software, and services, securing digital identities has suddenly become a major priority. As an added layer, each identity across the enterprise has varying access requirements that change constantly based on business needs.

Once an ‘afterthought’, identity security in its own right is an innovation that is now front and center and considered an essential part of businesses’ strategy for threat protection. There are many legacy approaches to identity security out there, as well as “lightweight” approaches, that are cumbersome, outdated and lack the intuitiveness and 360-degree oversight needed to fully protect all identities and their access to technology resources.

As a key differentiator, SailPoint’s intelligent, autonomous, and integrated solutions put identity security at the core of business operations and are trusted by the world’s largest, most complex organizations. SailPoint’s AI-driven approach to identity security makes it easy for the modern enterprise to embed identity context across hybrid environments and centrally manage and control access to all data, applications, systems and cloud infrastructure—for all identity types. These capabilities are unmatched in the current landscape.

What’s notable is that SailPoint delivered multi-tenant cloud identity security that layers in AI technologies long before the rest of the market, and that foresight and leadership is what has put them—and what will keep them—at the top of the identity security industry.

There’s been a lot of talk about a recession. How do you expect a possible market downturn to impact the cybersecurity industry (even though the need for cybersecurity solutions is constantly rising)?

No industry is truly “recession proof,” and it’s true that many businesses will be looking for ways to tighten their belts if a downturn is forthcoming. When that happens, companies will look to prioritize their needs. But in today’s threat environment, modern identity security is now viewed as a business essential, not a ‘nice-to-have.’ Beyond being a risk mitigator, enterprises understand that modern identity security is a digital accelerant.

In today’s increasingly digital world, leaving users, devices, applications, and other identities unsecured isn’t just a bad idea—it’s the worst idea. Whether the economy rises or falls, the need for identity security will continue to grow, and SailPoint will continue to provide industry-leading solutions.

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