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KnowBe4 grows its cybersecurity toolbox with latest acquisition

Margie Manning



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KnowBe4, a Clearwater-based cybersecurity training company, has acquired CLTRe, a Norwegian business focused on working with organizations to beef up their culture around online security.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Both companies focus on the behavior of employees to fend off cyberattacks.

KnowBe4 has a simulated phishing platform, designed to raise awareness about ransomware, CEO fraud and other social engineering tactics. CLTRe, which is pronounced “culture,” created the CLTRe Toolkit and the Security Culture Framework, help organizations gather evidence about their current security culture and how it changes over time.

CLTRe will operate as an independent subsidiary of KowBe4. KnowBe4 will make CLTRe’s products available to all its customers later this year, while CLTRe clients will get access to KnowBe4’s simulated phishing platform.

“Today’s announcement brings KnowBe4 very valuable tools to help our customers measure what matters – their security culture – so they can make decisions about how to improve,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4.

KnowBe4 is “a leader in innovation,” said Kai Roer, CEO of CLTRe, in the news release. KnowBe4’s specific focus on improving security at the human level is a natural fit for CLTRe’s evidence-based analytics and measurement tools, he said.

The acquisition follows a major investment by private equity firm KKR in KnowBe4, one of the fastest-growing companies in the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater metro area. KnowBe4 ranked No. 96 on the most recent Inc. 5000 with $64.5 million in 2017 revenue. The company previously said it would use some of the KKR funding to expand in Europe.

CLTRe is the second acquisition this year for KnowBe4, which bought El Pescador in Brazil in February.

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