Symantec buys Skycure, but may sell $1bn certification business

12 Jul 2017

Symantec. Image: cornfield/Shutterstock

It seems that Symantec is revising its business, with reports of a $1bn sale of its certification operation.

Fresh from snapping up cybersecurity outfit Skycure, Symantec’s organisational chart may need yet another update as it looks to divest some of its operations.

According to Reuters, Symantec is considering a sale of its certification business, rumoured to be worth around $1bn.

The business has become a sort of thorn in the cybersecurity company’s side of late, with Google recently looking into Symantec’s failure to properly validate certificates.

It is this type of validation that establishes whether or not websites can be trusted.

Talks to sell

While it previously defended itself from such accusations, there are now claims that Symantec is in talks with companies and private equity firms to sell up an operation that began with the acquisition of Verisign for $1.28bn in 2010.

Selling it off now would fit in with Symantec CEO Greg Clark’s recent plans to get rid of underperforming arms of the company – it sold Veritas, a data storage operation, for more than $7bn last year – while targeting new businesses to join the fold.

Skycure, for example, became the latest acquisition for Symantec this week, with the company joining the likes of LifeLock ($2.3bn) and Blue Coat Systems ($4.65bn) in recent months and years.

Major step forward

“One of the most dangerous assumptions in today’s world is that iOS and other mobile devices that employees bring into the office are safe, but the apps and data on these devices are under increasing attack,” said Clark.

“We believe that tomorrow’s workforce will be completely mobile and will demand a cyber defence solution that travels with them. Mobile is a core component of our strategy, and the acquisition of Skycure is a major step forward in executing it.”

Symantec’s Tarah Wheeler, meanwhile, recently spoke at Inspirefest 2017 about the shifting cybersecurity landscape.

With constant ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya making the headlines internationally of late, the infosec sector continues to catch the public eye.

In this vein, people have come to fear ransomware more than ever before, picturing it as an evil entity ready to infect our computers, our phones and our software at any given moment.

Wheeler, though, argues that ransomware could be a good thing for the industry.

Symantec. Image: cornfield/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic