Google has beefed up its internal cybersecurity knowledge as well as its ability to offer cybersecurity services to customers by buying threat intelligence specialist Mandiant for about US$5.4 billion.
Assuming regulatory and shareholder approval, Mandiant will join the Google Cloud division of the company.
Mandiant had been part of network security provider FireEye, but financial problems forced a restructuring that included re-naming the entire company Mandiant. Last year it sold the FireEye portion of the business to a consortium led by the private-equity firm, Symphony Technology Group (STG), for US$1.2 billion. STG then merged FireEye with McAfee Enterprise — which it had previously acquired — to become Trellix.
That set up bidding for the highly-respected Mandiant business.
According to Jeff Pollard of Forrester Research, rumours had swirled that Microsoft was the destination, but Google came in and outbid Microsoft for the firm.
“Google Cloud Platform is playing catch-up to Microsoft in cybersecurity and lacks its competitors’ inherent advantages in the enterprise: endpoint and active directory,” Pollard said today. “That forces it to pay a premium and be more aggressive, which it’s signaled a willingness to do.
“This acquisition adds strong services to Google Cloud Platform’s portfolio and immediately adds expertise to Google Cybersecurity Action Team. Mandiant found a match-up with deep pockets as it reinvents itself. But significant gaps remain for the combined entity. Perhaps the most critical of those gaps is on the enterprise endpoint. Google Cloud Platform relies on EDR (endpoint detection and response) to complete its XDR offering, so we expect an EDR tool is next on its shopping list.”
Alberto Yépez, co-founder and managing director at California venture capital firm Forgepoint Capital, called the deal “a defining moment for the security industry and modern business itself. It marks an inflection point where cybersecurity investments are no longer a game of inside baseball between a few key players. Everyday internet users will benefit from this deal because Gmail and Google Apps — plus all of the other Google business applications — will now be armed with Madiant’s insights on threat vectors and cybercriminal organizations around the world. This context is critical for attack prevention. Layering that context with the use of big data and AI allows Google to be significantly more effective in preventing attacks.”