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Accenture Continues All-Out Security Offensive With Intent To Buy 270-Person Services Firm

The solution provider giant presses on in its push to build a $1 billion security practice after announcing plans to acquire a French company specializing in identity and access management.

Accenture's push to build a $1 billion security practice continues unabated with the company announcing plans to purchase a French firm specializing in identity and access management.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company - No. 2 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 - said the acquisition of 270-person Arismore will bolster Accenture's skills around security services, enterprise architecture and change management services. The deal is Accenture's eighth security-focused acquisition in the past 16 months, and follows three high-profile hires for the company's new, dedicated security practice.

"Acquiring Arismore would be a significant step forward in our growth strategy," said Kelly Bissell, managing director of Accenture Security, in a statement. ’As we continue to add firepower and build momentum in our security business, we would take advantage of this acquisition to bring our extensive portfolio of end-to-end security services to clients across Europe."

[RELATED: Accenture Continues To Build Cybersecurity Practice, Hires Former Fidelis CSO To Head Incident Response Practice]

Arismore and Accenture both want to help end users build digital trust and benefit from the cloud's power and flexibility by investing heavily in enterprise architecture and identity and access management services, according to Eric Boulay, Arismore president and CEO.

’Accenture and Arismore share the belief that digital trust and digital transformation are at the heart of business transformation," Boulay said in a statement. "We look forward to supporting [Accenture's] growth in the field of identity management and other security capabilities."

Arismore, founded in 2002, provides security and enterprise architecture services for enterprise firms in the telecommunications, media, distribution, energy, transportation, banking and insurance verticals. Accenture said it's in exclusive negotiations to acquire the Saint-Cloud, France-based company since the deal requires prior consultation with the relevant works councils in France.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, and Accenture executives were not immediately available for additional comment. Accenture's stock fell 0.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, to $123.65, after the acquisition was announced midday Monday.

In addition to its headquarters in Saint-Cloud, Arismore also has offices in the French cities of Villeneuve d’Ascq and La Ciotat. Accenture said Arismore offers complementary security solutions and services, a strong client base and a team of highly skilled security and enterprise architecture professionals.

Accenture launched its cybersecurity division in June with the hire of Bissell, a longtime security leader at Deloitte. Bissell said at the time that he was looking to take Accenture's security practice from between $500 million and $1 billion in annual revenue to well over $1 billion by growing the company's presence in such areas as mobile security and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) consulting.

Since then, Accenture has hired former CIA chief technology officer Gus Hunt to lead its Federal Services cybersecurity practice, and former Fidelis Cybersecurity chief security officer Justin Harvey to run its incident response practice.

The company acquired five other cybersecurity firms this year: federal security cloud provider Defense Point Security of Arlington, Va., in October; Melbourne, Australia-based security services company Redcore in August, Israel-based cybersecurity company Maglan in June; and minority stakes in Arlington, Va. -based Endgame in March and in Israeli cybersecurity company Team8 in February.

Accenture also made two security-related acquisitions in late 2015: Houston-based industrial IoT security specialist Cimation, and Arlington, Va.-based Fusion X.

Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme said in September that the company's cyber experts are working with a large U.S.-based utility to define, develop and run a next-generation security operations center. The company is also developing a comprehensive strategy to assess risk, manage identity and enable alerts for cyber threats in real-time, Nanterme said.

Accenture's cloud, digital and security businesses accounted for $13.5 billion, or 40 percent of total revenue, in the company's 2016 fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, Nanterme said. That's up from just 30 percent in fiscal 2015.

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