Juniper buys mobile security firm for US$70m

28 Jul 2010

Juniper Networks is to buy mobile security firm SMobile for US$70m in cash in a move that will give it an edge in the areas of smartphone and tablet computer security.

SMobile, a privately held software company based in Ohio, focuses solely on smart phone and tablet security solutions for the enterprise, service provider and consumer markets. The total transaction consideration at closing will be about US$70m in cash.

SMobile’s product portfolio protects devices running on Android, Apple iOS (which powers iPhones and iPads), Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile operating systems from viruses, spyware, identity theft and other threats, while providing parental and enterprise controls. Juniper will integrate this portfolio into Junos Pulse, an innovative software platform that brings ubiquitous connectivity, security and acceleration to smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks.

Potential growth in mobile client security market

According to industry analyst firm Infonetics Research, the mobile client security market is projected to grow to more than US$1bn by 2014. The combination of Junos Pulse and SMobile will deliver a secure mobile internet experience for both consumer and business users on any mobile smart device.

This will help address emerging security threats as smart devices become an essential tool to exchange data and access networks, and the potentially sensitive information on them.

“Security breaches in today’s mobile environment are growing threats that impact everyone,”said Mark Bauhaus, executive vice-president and general manager, Services Layer Technologies at Juniper Networks.

“Juniper already secures the majority of smartphone traffic in the United States, is a global leader in high-end firewalls and the SSL VPN market, and enables more than 25 million end users to remotely and securely connect their PCs and smart phones to corporate networks. Integrating SMobile’s portfolio into Junos Pulse will provide users with the most comprehensive mobile security solution available on the market.”

“The SMobile mission has always been to secure, manage and control all mobile devices, ensuring the internet in your hand is safe and reliable — for enterprises, consumers and service providers,” said Neil Book, president and CEO of SMobile.

“We are excited and energised about the opportunity to leverage Juniper’s world-class organisation and global sales channel to continue to provide the most feature-rich and robust mobile security solutions in the market.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years