Symantec Closes Verisign Deal, Adds SSL Feather To Cap


Symantec on Monday closed its $1.28 billion acquisition of Verisign's identity and authentication business, upping the ante in the security industry's fervent march toward vendors becoming one-stop shops for multiple technologies.

With Verisign in the fold, Symantec is now a force to be reckoned with in SSL certificates, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and other trust and identity technologies. But the main value of the deal is that Symantec can now start cross-selling SSL certificates along with its security offerings, removing one of the hoops customers previously had to jump through in building their security infrastructure.

"We see a real opportunity to accelerate business because of the cross-sell opportunities," said Francis DeSouza, Symantec senior vice president of the enterprise security group, told CRN in May when the deal was made public. "A lot of the same people who buy SSL certificates from Verisign are the same ones who buy critical protection from us."

Symantec plans to integrate Verisign technologies with its array of endpoint security and data loss prevention products. For example, the combination of SSL and Symantec Protection Center will help companies with large mobile workforces keep tabs on the flood of smartphones, iPads and other devices coming into and out of the workplace.

SSL woven into Symantec products like Critical System Protection and Protection Suite for Servers will bolster the security of customers' Web servers and increase trust levels during financial and other sensitive transactions.

Symantec also plans to incorporate Verisign technologies into its data loss prevention products to ensure that only authorized users can access certain types of information.

It's been a year of wheeling and dealing for Symantec, which added big pieces to its encryption portfolio in April with the acquisitions of PGP Corp. and GuardianEdge. But integrating acquisitions takes time, and it also requires some luck, so Symantec partners would be forgiven for taking a wait-and-see attitude about how the shopping spree is going to impact their business.

It's been over five years since Symantec closed the Veritas deal, and that blockbuster acquisition didn't go as smoothly as the company would have liked. Of course, that deal brought Symantec into the storage market, and so there were integration related potholes the company couldn't have foreseen.

This time around, Symantec's acquisitions are all within a space it knows quite well, so there's little reason to think the company could see a repeat of its Veritas struggles.