Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 – A Year of Security Acquisitions - Addendum: Link to PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers

Any time a company wants to expand their product line, go into new areas, or add new functionality to a product, they go through a make, buy, or license decision. Often, the quickest way to acquire the new technology is through an acquisition. On a somewhat different level, companies find themselves caught in a perpetual buying mode, because they need the acquisition to help justify their current stock price. They may require the revenue/cash flow generated to help make up for the fact that the revenue/cash growth in their current core technologies is slowing down (which could affect the stock price). They may need this extension to plug a hole in their current product portfolio for competitive reasons and/or to make themselves look more attractive to investors in case they are planning an initial public offering (IPO). A firm may need a cash infusion through an equity investor to help fund and accelerate future growth.

Major Security Acquisitions – 2010

• Intel may have changed the security playing field with its August $7.6 billion (US) acquisition of McAfee. Security will be placed in Intel’s chips and ultimately into a variety of devices. Intel stated that McAfee will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary. McAfee had been trading near a one and two year low at the time of the acquisition (which has recently been approved). http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2010/q3/20100819-01.aspx

• Hewlett Packard - purchased security assurance company Fortify Software in August, and ArcSight, security compliance and management, in September. Over the years, Hewlett Packard has been mentioned as a possible acquirer of Trend Micro.

• McAfee acquired Trust Digital in May. This strengthens their presence in mobile security. http://newsroom.mcafee.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=3653

• Avast - Growth equity investor Summit Partner purchased a minority interest $100mm (US) in Avast in August. Avast has been growing rapidly and surpassed 130mm users in September. http://www.avast.com/pr-avast-software-crosses-the-130-million-user-threshold

• AVG Technologies – In June, AVG Technologies acquired one of their major US distributors, Walling Data (education, government, non-profits, and resellers). This acquisition also strengthens their US based support. http://www.avg.com/us-en/press-releases-news.ndi-230728 AVG Technologies acquired DroidSecurity in November. www.droidsecurity.com This gives them a strong presence in the Android space. They currently have no solution for Symbian, however. http://kensek.blogspot.com/2010/11/avg-technologies-acquires-droidsecurity.html

• Kaspersky – Kaspersky, while not making any acquisitions in 2010, has been growing rapidly. According to IDC's annual report, the company grew by 44.5 % in 2009 and has acquired a 5.8% overall market share. Kaspersky Lab is at fourth place in the IDC rating of Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor for 2009. The rating was published in IDC's Worldwide Endpoint Security Market 2010-2014 Forecast and 2009 Vendor Shares report. http://usa.kaspersky.com/about-us/press-center/press-releases/kaspersky-lab-continues-its-global-market-growth . They will probably announce a Droid security solution in Q1 2011.

• Sophos - In May, Sophos stated that it planned to sell the majority of its business to private equity investment firm APAX Partners for $830 million US. http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2010/05/apax-sophos.html

• Symantec purchased PGP /Guardian Edge in the encryption space in April. McAfee had divested itself of PGP in the early 90’s. In May, Symantec purchased VeriSign’s Identity and Authentication business.

• Trend Micro purchased Mobile Armor in November to strengthen their data protection and encryption portfolio. http://trendmicro.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&news_item=847&type=archived&year=2010 Gartner saw the acquisition is a positive development for Trend Micro and its customers. Rumors about Trend Micro being “in play” surfaced during the summer. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6880U620100909 In the past, they have been mentioned as an acquisition candidate for both Cisco (who has made a number of acquisitions in 2010) and Hewlett Packard. In September, CRN suggested that Trend Micro should be on Oracle’s hit list for acquisition. http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/channel-programs/227300309/hurds-top-five-oracle-acquisition-target-hit-list.htm?pgno=4

• Webroot acquired Prevx, a provider of cloud-based anti-malware solutions, in November. http://pr.webroot.com/momentum/corp/technology-acquisition-cloud-security-110110.html . In July, Webroot had acquired BrightCloud, a Web content classification and security services provider. http://pr.webroot.com/momentum/corp/acquisition-url-filtering-saas-070710.html

• Google – Google has entered the security fray. On December 17, Google announced that they were adding a hacked site alarm for search results. When Google believes a site has been hacked, a sentence will appear under the search result stating, "This site may be compromised." Google provides a similar warning to steer users away from sites found to be infected with malware. http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Google-Adds-Hacked-Site-Alarm-for-Search-Results-466461/

See the link below for a slide show on CRN’s list on their take of the 10 most important security acquisitions of the year.

December 28 Addendum - PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers

PC World tested 13 consumer internet security packages to "see which ones can protect your data without overburdening your PC". Below are links to the complete article and to the table illustrating the ranking the products. To view a table that consolidates the overall scores from PC World "Battle of the Security Superpowers" and PC Magazine "Best Security Suites for 2011", go to:


Hint - for the top internet security suite - Think the color yellow. Complete reviews and tables for PC World are at:



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