Symantec buys encryption specialist PGP for $300 million

Symantec will acquire encryption specialist PGP and endpoint security vendor GuardianEdge Technologies for US$300 million and $70 million, respectively, the company said on Thursday.

Both are privately held companies. Symantec said the deals are subject to regulatory approval but are expected to close by June.

Symantec said the companies’ combined specialties in standards-based encryption for e-mail, file systems, removable media and smartphones will complement its security offerings, such as its gateway, endpoint security and data-loss prevention software.

Encrypting information offers a higher level of security in case data is lost or stolen. Earlier this month, the U.K. increased the fine under the Data Protection Act for organizations that lose data to a maximum of £500,000 (US$765,000).

Other security vendors such as McAfee and Sophos had already made moves to acquire encryption technology for their products, said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. McAfee bought Safeboot in 2007 for $350 million, and Sophos acquired Utimaco in 2008 for

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