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New Acquisition Provides Security From Hackers' View, Palo Alto Networks CEO Says

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  • Palo Alto Networks is buying Expanse, an attack surface management platform, for $800 million.
  • "They actually have visibility from the outside. Most security is inside out," Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora told CNBC's Jim Cramer, explaining that it will bring a new perspective to network security.
  • "We'll give them the ability to get a free report to actually see from the outside what the bad guys are seeing," he said in a "Mad Money" interview explaining how the platform can be of benefit to information security professionals.

Palo Alto Networks announced a new acquisition that the cybersecurity provider expects will give it an edge in fending off online hackers.

The company is paying out $800 million to add to its portfolio Expanse, a San Francisco-based internet monitoring company that Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora said will bring a new outside perspective to network security.

"They actually have visibility from the outside. Most security is inside out," Arora told CNBC's Jim Cramer Monday in an interview on "Mad Money." "They've spent four or five years building the capability, creating that capability from the outside."

Expanse, through what's known as an attack surface management platform, collects online information to lower the risk of cyberattack by analyzing data through the eyes of hackers, finding weaknesses that can be mitigated before exploited by outside actors. Arora said the new acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of January, will provide an additional perspective to give companies a comprehensive secure operation.

Expanse will be added to Palo Alto Network's Cortex product suite, which includes detection, investigation, response and threat intelligence services.

"We're launching our user conference tomorrow. We're going to make all of our CIOs (chief information officer) and CISOs (chief information security officer) sign up," he said. "We'll give them the ability to get a free report to actually see from the outside what the bad guys are seeing."

The comments come after Palo Alto Networks beat Wall Street estimates in its quarterly report for the period ending Oct. 31. Revenues grew by 23% year over year, coming in at $946 million, above the $922 million figure FactSet projected. The company made a profit of $158.1 million, which translates to $1.62 per share, more than 50% higher than profits from a year ago.

Earnings per share beat the $1.33 mark that analysts were looking for.

The stock surged to a record close of $278.50 after rallying more than 7% during a positive day of trading in the broader stock market. The stock is up 20% year to date and has more than doubled from its nadir in march during the major market sell-off induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

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