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Multi-Signal Managed Detection and Response for Private Equity Firms

Cybersecurity breaches and threats are a concern for any entity that stores valuable data or manages large sums of money. Private Equity firms are no exception. eSentire proactively detects, disrupts, and remediates cyber threats targeting Private Equity firms before they impact your business and your portfolio companies.

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Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies need cybersecurity expertise to proactively detect, disrupt and remediate cyber threats before they become business disrupting events.

Cyberattackers recognize that portfolio companies are easy targets because they are growth-focused and are often secured with lean, less mature cyber operations. Private equity firms also have detailed disclosure requirements to abide by, making it easy for attackers to find these valuable targets.

Sophisticated attackers perform complex reconnaissance on private equity firms and their portfolio companies in order to obtain stolen/hijacked/poorly secured firm documents and harvest key employee credentials. They understand operational details, the names of key employees, and once they are embedded, they can hijack relationships, intercept emails, and even initiate wire transfers to steal millions of dollars.

Adding to the challenge, CIOs at private equity firms are hampered by a lack of visibility into all their portfolio firms as well as a lack of control. Defensive tools across their portfolio companies are almost always inconsistent.

Breaches can and will impact deal execution, deal value, integration, and put reputations and future deals at risk. In fact, the public nature of private equity work paints a target on both the buyer and seller.

How eSentire Managed Detection and Response Can Help

eSentire is recognized globally as the Authority in Managed Detection and Response because we hunt, investigate and stop known and unknown cyber threats before they become business disrupting events. We were founded in 2001 to secure the environments of the world’s most targeted industry - financial services. We proudly protect over 100 Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies. With over $7T in AUM, we are the most trusted security company that protects private equity portfolio companies at scale.

We have demonstrated success working with private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Through our experience, we’ve developed a leading framework for firms to address the most common concerns and risks security leaders face:

  • Lack of confidence in the integrity of all portfolio companies’ security postures
  • New acquisitions come with surprises that can negatively impact deal value and lead to potential vulnerabilities
  • The need to bridge the gap from startup business bootstrap mindset to portfolio company
  • The lack of a uniform foundation and uniform exit documentation
  • The need for a reliable way to track and rank risk across portfolio
  • They require enterprise protection at a cost-effective price

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Private Equity Threat Intelligence Report

Preventing Unplanned Takeovers for Private Equity Firms and their Portfolio Companies

For Private Equity (PE) firms and their portfolio companies, cyber risk is often a secondary concern, looked at more as an IT problem to solve rather than as a business risk that needs to be managed. ​​While PE CIOs have begun to put stronger cyber security practices in place to defend against attackers and private equity firms are better defended than ever, their portfolio companies are finding themselves and their assets in the crosshairs of motivated and well-equipped cybercriminals with increasing frequency.

Attackers know that the portfolio companies are smaller, growth companies with lean cyber security operations that are less mature. Private equity firms themselves have detailed disclosure requirements that make it easy for attackers to find targets. The reality is that once an adversary gains initial access into your environment, preventing business disruption becomes a race against time that requires rapid threat detection and response to occur in a matter of minutes.

Threat Intel Report Callout

In this threat intelligence report, we share:

  • What makes Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies attractive targets for cybercriminals
  • Some of the most concerning cyber threats impacting Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies, based on new threat research from eSentire’s Threat Response Unit (TRU)
  • Recommendations on how industry security leaders can strengthen their cyber controls and governance and mitigate the risk of impacting deal valuation

Private Equity Threat Summit

Securing Your Portfolio Investments from the Risk of Costly Downtime

At most private equity firms, there is a lack of visibility into the security operations across all their portfolio companies. In addition, portfolio companies have limited knowledge of their cyber risks and an equally limited cybersecurity budget.

In this Private Equity Threat Summit, we invited industry veterans to share their insights on the most impactful cyber threats targeting PE firms and their portfolio companies and how you can strengthen your cybersecurity posture to mitigate your cyber risks and reduce downtime. The threat summit features:

  • A Private Equity Threat Briefing
    Presented by Ryan Westman, Senior Manager, Threat Intelligence, eSentire
  • A Fireside Chat with Alex Manea, CISO at Georgian
    Hosted by Eldon Sprickerhoff, Founder and Advisor, eSentire
  • A Customer Perspective
    Hosted by Eldon Sprickerhoff, Founder and Advisor, eSentire

How eSentire Protects Private Equity Firms

Risk Illumination And Mitigation Throughout The Entire Investment Lifecycle

Falling Victim to Ransomware Attacks

Operational Disruption

The Need for Cost-Effective Security Services that Provide Consistency and Visibility Across Portfolio Companies


Risk Illumination And Mitigation Throughout The Entire Investment Lifecycle


  • Our 24/7 Elite Threat Hunters and SOC Cyber Analysts actively hunt for threats across your environment. We detect intrusions and contain attacks before data can be exfiltrated.
  • M&A Assessment service available as part of our Exposure Management services offering with rapid eDiscovery investigation capability through eSentire's Atlas XDR Investigator.


Falling Victim to Ransomware Attacks


We monitor your attack surface 24/7 to discover intrusion attempts, preventing the pervasive deployment of malware and ransomware.

  • We support multi-signal coverage ensuring visibility across endpoint, network, log, cloud, and other data sources for deep investigation and response capabilities.
  • We offer endpoint protection to prevent your defenses from being disabled.


Operational Disruption


We detect and contain suspicious activity through remote access tools and stop intrusions before they can deploy malware in critical systems that lead to massive outages throughout your environment.


The Need for Cost-Effective Security Services that Provide Consistency and Visibility Across Portfolio Companies


We provide customized Managed Risk, MDR and Incident Response services that can be packaged and adopted by Private Equity firms’ entire portfolios, driving consistency and measurable cyber KPIs.

Our program delivers rapid time to value with onboarding in days vs weeks or months, and provides scalable multi-signal 24/7 coverage across the complete attack surface.

eSentire Private Equity Industry Cybersecurity Services

At eSentire, we go beyond the market’s capability in threat response. eSentire’s multi-signal MDR approach ingests endpoint, network, log, cloud, asset and vulnerability data that enables complete attack surface visibility. Enriched detections from the eSentire Threat Response Unit are applied to captured data identifying known & unknown threats including suspicious activity and zero-day attacks. With two 24/7 Security Operations Centers staffed with cyber experts and Elite Threat Hunters, an industry-leading XDR Cloud Platform, and refined security operations processes, eSentire can detect and respond to cyber threats with a Mean Time to Contain of 15 minutes.

Managed Detection & Response

We deliver Response + Remediation you can trust. By combining our cutting-edge XDR platform, 24/7 SOC support, around the clock threat hunting and security operations leadership, we hunt and stop known & unknown threats before they disrupt your business.


Exposure Management Services

Strategic services including Vulnerability Management, Managed Phishing and Security Awareness Training to identify gaps, build defensive strategies, operationalize risk mitigation and continuously advance your security program.


Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Battle-tested Incident Commander level expertise, crime scene reconstruction and digital forensics investigations that can bear scrutiny in a court of law. The world’s fastest threat suppression guarantee with a 4-hour SLA available with our IR Retainer.


The Cost of Ransomware Attacks for Firms is Growing

We’ve worked with numerous private equity firms for incident response after ransomware attacks on portfolio companies have taken out their backups, encrypted the data on their server environments, taken their businesses offline for days or weeks, and cost them millions of dollars. The following case studies capture the immediate operational and financial impacts ransomware attacks inflicted on these portfolio companies. Beyond that, these attacks also caused indirect damage to the private equity backers due to profitability and investment losses.

Customer Case Study #1

  • Attackers breached the portfolio company network and back up devices, using Mimikatz to obtain login and password information to move laterally in the environment unrestricted for 6 weeks.
  • Ransomware took down all back-ups, wiped out PC environments, and encrypted all company servers and computers using PowerShell commands.
  • The portfolio company was down for 7 days with no access to data, systems, emails or phones.
  • After completing Incident Response, PE firm engaged eSentire.
Total Cost: $2,000,000

Customer Case Study #2

  • Trickbot malware harvested credentials at the portfolio company and encrypted the main ERP database servers.
  • Despite having antivirus, network and endpoint protections in place with different vendors, lack of security best practices allowed the attack to go undetected.
  • The portfolio company was completely down for 7 days, suffered an additional attack mid-recovery, and had to scan and reimage over 1200 computers, and change every single password across all systems company wide.
  • After completing Incident, PE firm engaged eSentire.
Total Cost: $1,000,000

Why Our Private Equity Customers Choose eSentire

Thomas H. Lee Partners

Industry: Private Equity
35+ Portfolio Companies Protected

THL is a private equity firm, with headquarters in North America, that invests in middle market growth companies across the Financial Technology & Services, Healthcare, and Technology & Business Solutions industries.

THL Logo

eSentire from day 1 is part of our playbook to help ensure that we can manage our risk, understand where vulnerabilities exist, close those gaps, and they continue to mature month over month, as the world changes. The only way we can sleep at night is to have a partner like eSentire at our side.

Headshot of Mark Benaquista, a Managing Director of Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) – an eSentire customer featured in one of the cyber security case studies.

Mark Benaquista

Managing Director, Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL)

Customer Challenges

As a private equity firm, THL inevitably becomes a target whenever news about their investments or exits surface. Threat actors exploit this attention, researching and targeting their investments with the understanding that they are covered by cyber insurance.

THL was challenged with a lack of in-house expertise, resources, and tools for 24/7 threat detection and response. They had limited access to best-in-class tools to show where cyber risks exist, how they’re being managed and areas for improvement. THL wanted an MDR provider that could provide a holistic view of the threat landscape impacting their portfolio companies. They also wanted to be able to identify risks, protect assets, provide phishing and security awareness training, and build a mature security operation.

Security Outcomes Delivered

eSentire Multi-Signal MDR monitors and disrupts threats 24/7 targeting their assets and portfolio companies. Our services alleviate internal resource constraints, provides access to top cybersecurity talent, and provides cutting-edge threat ­intelligence to keep THL ahead of cyber threats and business disruption so that their leaders can focus on growth and generating revenue. We also provide trusted guidance prior to investing in a new portfolio company to analyze their security measures and rapidly deploy eSentire MDR. This helps reduce risk by ensuring complete visibility and a consistent security posture across their portfolio.

Read More Case Study and Reviews →

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