Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Verizon Business locks down MSSP market with Cybertrust buy

IT solutions giant Verizon Business today announced plans to acquire Cybertrust, a purchase certain to create the world's largest managed security services provider.

Terms of the deal, expected to be finalized in two to three months, were not disclosed today.

Nancy Gofus, chief marketing officer for Bernards Township, N.J.-based Verizon Business, said today on a conference call that the acquisition will allow the company to offer a complete security services portfolio while better competing on a global scale.

Before the deal, the 30,000-employee Verizon Business had a sizeable managed network services component but a significant void in its global security offerings, Gofus said. Verizon’s security arm had been best known for its "cloud-to-core" approach, including network-based firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and DoS detection and mitigation services.

Aside from its managed security service capabilities, Cybertrust will provide Verizon Business with a broader set of security offerings, notably identity and vulnerability management and forensics solutions, said Jim Ivers, senior vice president of corporate marketing at the Herndon, Va.-based company.

Ivers called the deal "truly a great marriage" that will allow customers to manage risk while securing their information.

Paul Stamp, principal analyst for Forrester Research, told today that the deal reminds him of last fall’s BT acquisition of Counterpane Internet Security, also a provider of managed network security services.

He said many telecommunications providers lack a worldwide security presence.

Stamp added that Verizon Business has long been focused on North America. Cybertrust, according to a statement, has a large global security standing, with 800 employees in 30 locations across the world, including Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

Not only will the deal open the door for Verizon to tap into a global client base, but it will also allow Cybertrust to offer a service that customers are anxious to buy, Stamp said.

"Europeans tend to be more open to buying their security services from a general service provider, whereas North Americans prefer to go through a specialized security provider," Stamp said.

Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO of vulnerability management provider Qualys, told that deals such as this one should only become more common as enterprises seek outsourced centralized management. He said Cybertrust has been on the market for some time.

"The acquistions are the easy thing to do," he said. "The hard part is making it work."

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