Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is finally looking at its blockbuster acquisition of cybersecurity firm Mandiant for $5.4 billion, expressing the scale of the company’s ambitions in the sector.
The mega-deal was aimed at bolstering Google’s abilities to detect cyber threats – something Mandiant has become well known for, Phil Venables, Google Cloud’s chief information security officer, said at a press conference yesterday. .
“I want to emphasize that this adds more front-line threat intelligence,” Venables said. “When you look at what we have at Google, which includes very complementary pieces of VirusTotal and our other threat intelligence capabilities, bringing that together really gives us this kind of end-to-end security operations stack. end. Again, Google Cloud is already strong when you think about how we analyze data and put it into context, and it only gets stronger with Mandiant. »
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A response to a changing environment
Venables was very clear that Google Cloud’s cybersecurity ambitions are massive, but on one level, the size of the deal already said it all. The acquisition is Google’s second largest, surpassed only by the company’s takeover of Motorola a decade ago. The more than $5 billion the company spent on Mandiant dwarfs even what Google paid for Fitbit, which it bought for $2.1 billion.
The timing of this deal was no accident either, it was a response to a changing environment. The cyber threat landscape is changing and growing rapidly and there are two main reasons why, according to Hari Ravichandran, CEO and founder of identity protection company Aura.
First, we are more connected than we have ever been. Whether it is the company or the American house, every system is online and therefore open to cybercriminals. Second, cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever. With access to the same tools, from cloud to AI, that have transformed business, professional cybercriminals can create attacks that can deceive and evade even the most diligent business or consumer.
Seen as a positive signal
The deal was basically seen as a positive signal by the rest of the cybersecurity space that one of Big Tech’s most famous names is taking the increasingly risk-laden cyber landscape seriously, Andrew said. Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Illumio, a cybersecurity company focused on zero trust.
“Google Cloud’s focus on cybersecurity shows that security is a top priority for their entire business,” he told Yahoo Finance. “It’s exciting to see industry titans commit in this way to protecting cloud environments against today’s ever-evolving threats. »
It’s also no coincidence that the deal coincided with Google’s increased commitment to its enterprise and enterprise cloud customers. The reality is that the more secure your business, the more valuable it is, said Ritu Bhargava, president and product manager of SAP CX/CRM.
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“Now, it’s non-negotiable for any business to have security and compliance as a number one priority,” she said. “Companies simply won’t have a seat at the table if they don’t think about security first, because it’s a business imperative. »
Experts agree: if Google wants to grow its cloud business, triple security is essential.
“The company is only as secure as its least secure employee,” Ravichandran said.
The potential for more deals to come
The cybersecurity space is typically business-heavy, so going forward, we’re likely to see big tech, investors and private companies strike more deals in the sector, Ravichandran said.
“Historically, we’ve seen fairly regular mergers and acquisitions in the cybersecurity industry,” he said. “In September alone, there were nearly 40 cybersecurity company acquisitions, indicating that there is still plenty of opportunity when companies identify a strategic fit. »
Rubin agrees, adding that these deals will grow even further as cybersecurity becomes an increasingly indispensable part of business strategies and prospects.
“Google’s deal with Mandiant is the latest in a series of high-profile, billion-dollar cybersecurity acquisitions over the past few years, and it certainly won’t be the last,” he said. at Yahoo Finance. “While Google is ready to go all out in cyberspace, it is clear that its customers believe that security is at the heart of everything.”
Allie Garfinkle is Senior Tech Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks.
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