Canadian security awareness training firm Terranova Security sold to HelpSystems


Another Canadian cybersecurity firm has sold itself to an American company to help it expand.

Quebec-based security awareness training company Terranova Security has been taken over by HelpSystems, a Minnesota-based firm that has been on a recent acquisition spree. Seven months ago it bought phishing threat intelligence provider PhishLabs, and just over a year ago it bought email phishing defence provider Agari.

No purchase price was revealed by the companies. It will now be known as ‘Terranova by HelpSystems.’

The sale comes months before Terranova‘s 20th anniversary, said founder and CEO Lise Lapointe. It was her third IT training-related firm.

In 2020 IT World Canada named Lapointe one of Canada’s Top Women in Cybersecurity.

“Consolidation of the market,” is one reason Lapointe said she is giving up control of the firm. “We need to have solid partners to bring the business to another level, and HelpSystems was the best partner to do that, she said in an interview. “That was the primary reason.”

“And also, I’ve been in business for quite a long time, so it’s going to be time for me to do something else.”

She will be staying with the company “for the moment.”

Among the advantages, she said, is HelpSystems will now be able to integrate and sell Terranova solutions into bundles with its other products.

Terranova Security’s platform uses gamification techniques to increase engagement and knowledge retention. Its content is available in 40 languages. Lapointe says it has about 2,000 customers. HelpSystems says it has 3,000 customers around the world.

Terranova’s headquarters is in Laval, Que., where there are 85 employees. In an interview, HelpSystems chief marketing officer Mike Devine said that over time more will be added because Terranova is a strong business.

Neither Lapointe nor HelpSystems would detail how the deal came together.

“We first heard about Terranova through our customers, who really liked their training,” Devine said. Then, after the acquisitions of Agari and PhishLabs, their officials urged their new owners to talk to Terranova.

“This brings a lot of expertise and a lot of solutions,” Devine said of the latest purchase. “We have a growing portfolio of cybersecurity software. We have a lot of customers who rely on us for that. What we didn’t have was training to make sure that even if the software doesn’t catch other things employees behave well and don’t screw up. This gives us fantastic training solutions for that.”





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