Recently, we ran a story about the number of VCs putting cash into security startups. That turns out to be the tip of the security spear. The past month has seen several acquisitions of note as well-established vendors sought to broaden their product line, complement security products with malware or detection services, or make noteworthy hires.
For example, Milpitas, Calif.-based FireEye bought Washington, D.C.’s Mandiant for $1 billion. Mandiant made headlines last year by working with The New York Times to track down Chinese hackers and also went public, giving it serious money to spend on the consulting company. (The two have partnered in the past and share several directors.) FireEye is also interested in other relationships. Last year it and data protection platform provider Verdasys announced the integration of their products to better attack malware on endpoints.
Earlier this month, Palo Alto Networks acquired startup Morta Security. Palo Alto is one of the premier firewall vendors, with deep applications awareness and network scanning technologies. Morta has its roots in engineers from the National Security Agency and had been in stealth mode, developing new threat management tools.
Perhaps one of the more interesting announcements is from Co3. The company named security expert Bruce Schneier as its CTO. Schneier’s popular blog is one of my favorite go-to places to track current security trends, and he’s often out ahead of many traditional security news sites with interesting perspectives and thoughts on particular vulnerabilities.
Finally, Acer took a stake in PChomePay, a Taiwanese payment processor used in online trading. Techworld speculates that Acer could become the security provider for its new partner, and perhaps expand its security offerings to a services-based model to be used by PChome.
What’s All This Mean?
Clearly, security is good business as leading vendors continue to consolidate their power and expand and integrate their product lines to provide more sophisticated protection. For example, last year Cisco acquired Sourcefire and Trend Micro bought Broadweb, a provider of advanced network security products.
In terms of job opportunities, the prospects are good, especially for experienced engineers. Both Palo Networks and FireEye are hiring, for instance, looking for engineering and training skills, among other things. Note that FireEye is also looking for interns and new college graduates.