Google finally talks about its acquisition of Mandiant: here’s what they said

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) finally announces its successful acquisition of cybersecurity firm Mandiant for $5.4 billion, expressing the scope of the company’s ambitions in the sector.

The mega deal was about strengthening Google’s capabilities to detect cyber threats, something Mandiant has become well known for, Google Cloud chief information security officer Phil Venables said at a press conference. Yesterday.

“I want to emphasize that this is adding more frontline threat intelligence,” Venables said. “When you look at what we have at Google, which includes things that are very complementary to VirusTotal and our other threat intelligence capabilities, putting that together really gives us this kind of end-to-end security operations stack. Again, Google Cloud is already strong when we think about how we analyze data and put it into context, and that only gets stronger with Mandiant.”

A response to a changing environment

Venables was very clear that Google Cloud’s cybersecurity ambitions are huge, but at one level, the size of the deal said it all. The acquisition is the second largest in Google’s history, second only to the company’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola ten years ago. The more than $5 billion the company spent on Mandiant dwarfs even what Google paid for Fitbit, which it bought for $2.1 billion.

The timing of this agreement was not an accident either, it is a response to a changing environment. The cyber threat landscape is rapidly evolving and expanding, and there are two key reasons for this, according to Hari Ravichandran, CEO and founder of identity protection company Aura.

The Google logo is seen on a smartphone in front of the Mandiant logo in this illustration taken on March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

First, we are more connected than ever. Whether you’re talking about the business or the American home, all systems are online and therefore open to cybercriminals. Second, cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever. With access to the same tools, from the cloud to AI, that have transformed the enterprise, professional cybercriminals can create attacks that can trick and evade even the most diligent business or consumer.

Seen as a positive sign

The deal was seen primarily as a positive signal by the rest of the cybersecurity space that one of Big Tech’s most famous names is taking the increasingly risk-laden cyber landscape seriously, said Andrew Rubin, chief executive and co-founder of Illumio, a zero trust-focused cybersecurity company.

Google Cloud’s cyber approach shows that security is a top priority for its business overall,” he told Yahoo Finance. “It’s promising to see industry titans commit in this way to protect cloud environments from threats. evolving today”.

It’s also no accident that the deal coincided with Google’s increased commitment to its cloud business and enterprise customers. The reality is that the more secure your company’s business is, the more valuable it is, said Ritu Bhargava, president and chief product officer, SAP CX/CRM.

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“It is now non-negotiable for any company to have security and compliance as the number one priority,” he said. “Companies just won’t have a seat at the table if they’re not thinking about safety first because it’s a business imperative.”

Experts agree: If Google wants to build its business in the cloud, tripling security is essential.

“The company is only as secure as its least secure employee,” Ravichandran said.

The potential for more deals to come

The cybersecurity space is one that has generally been full of deals, so looking ahead, we’re likely to see big tech companies, investors and private companies strike more deals in the sector, Ravichandran said.

“Historically, we’ve seen fairly regular mergers and acquisitions in the cybersecurity industry,” he said. “In September alone, there were nearly 40 acquisitions of cybersecurity companies, indicating that there are still plenty of opportunities when companies identify a strategic fit.”

Rubin agrees, adding that these agreements will become even more important as cybersecurity becomes an increasingly indispensable part of business strategies and prospects.

“The Google and Mandiant deal is the latest in a string of high-profile, multibillion-dollar cybersecurity acquisitions in recent years, and it certainly won’t be the last,” he told Yahoo Finance. “If Google is willing to go ‘everything’ into cyber, clearly its customers believe that security is paramount to all.”

Allie Garfinkle is a Senior Technical Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks.

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