Symantec buys key pair of encryption firms

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 4, 2010

PGP and GuardianEdge snapped up in surprise dual acquisition.

Symantec has announced the acquisition of two separate firms specialising in encryption and email security. The deals were completed in cash with PGP, a renowned specialist in public key cryptography, costing $300 million and GuardianEdge, which also provides encryption and data loss prevention solutions, snapped up for $70 million.

According to details released by Symantec, technology provided by the two firms will be merged into the Symantec portfolio to offer its customers a wider choice of encryption techniques, while the PGP key management system will be adopted as a standard across the range of brands.

It is not the first time the PGP name has come under the control of an anti-virus giant, with the original technology developed by Phil Zimmermann in 1991 eventually being taken over by Network Associates (NAI, nowadays better known as McAfee) in 1997; the current company PGP Corporation was formed in 2002, with the products and IP bought back from NAI.

GuardianEdge, meanwhile, traces its history back to 1984 with the release of PC Guardian hardware security solutions by Micro Security Devices Inc. The firm moved into encryption in the mid-1990s and took on the name GuardianEdge in 2005.

The official announcement of the deal from Symantec is here with more details here.

Posted on 04 May 2010 by Virus Bulletin

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