Google to pay US$625m for online security firm

9 Jul 2007

As an addition to its Google Apps service that provides email, documents, spreadsheets and calendars in a collaborative, online environment for small businesses, the company is set to acquire Postini, a specialist in online security.

Postini provides security, encryption and archiving methods that protect all web-based applications like instant messaging, email, company blogs and message boards.

“With the addition of Postini, our apps are not just simple and appealing to users; they can also streamline the complex information security mandates within these organisations,” said Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.

Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google Enterprise, claims that over 1,000 small businesses are signing up to use Google Apps every day, but that larger businesses are reluctant to follow suit in the face of online security issues. The company currently has 10 million users worldwide through its service to 35,000 businesses, and blocks more than 1 billion spam messages daily.

With the acquisition of Postini, Google hopes to provide the extra security that will entice larger firms to use its applications which are all hosted online, saving the need for an organisation to install software or hardware in order to use them.

Google Apps, which launched in February 2006, is seen as a foray for the search engine giant into Microsoft’s territory of business software and solutions.

Greg Brandeau, senior vice-president for technology at the Walt Disney Company is one of the growing numbers of businesspeople choosing this form of software management and deployment.

Another reason for Google Apps’ popularity is the fact that it is open source, meaning that software developers can write their own programmes to extend or customise Apps.

By Marie Boran