EMC Plans Layoffs at RSA Security Division

The Boston Globe was the first to report the staff reduction. Bedford, Mass.-based RSA, which sells authentication, network monitoring and antifraud technology, confirmed the layoffs in an email to CRN and said it expects the staff reduction to be offset by new hires to support growth areas.

"This quarter RSA realigned resources, which resulted in some RSA employee reductions and identification of new roles to be hired," an RSA spokesperson wrote in the email. "RSA intends to end 2013 with more employees than the business had at the beginning of the year."

[Related: RSA Exec Urges Partners To Address Threats With Next-Gen Security ]

Security analysts say sales of the company's SecurID hardware tokens have slowly declined in recent years as companies turn to other methods, including mobile, to authenticate employees. The company has been building out its adaptive authentication strategy and has made a number of acquisitions in recent years to move into other security areas, including network monitoring, data loss prevention, risk management and antifraud technologies.

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RSA has long recognized the move away from hardware tokens for authentication, said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. The RSA SecurID breach in which attackers infiltrated the company's servers very likely caused companies to look at other vendors and more modern authentication methods, Litan said.

"There are now methods other than this dedicated token that is what made RSA so successful," Litan said. "With mobile devices, you don't need to provision dedicated hardware tokens as much as you used to."

EMC said RSA revenue increased 3 percent in the second quarter year-on-year. On EMC's second-quarter earnings call, CEO Joseph Tucci said the company expects stronger performance from its identity and data protection offerings in the second half of the year.

EMC acquired Waltham, Mass.-based identity management vendor Aveksa in July and is adding it to RSA's Identity Trust Management product group. There are plans to integrate it with RSA's adaptive authentication strategy to better compete with IBM, CA, Oracle and NetIQ, which have similar capabilities.

The company also is working on integration of its Silver Tail Systems Web fraud detection technology, which it acquired last year. It is adding capabilities to its NetWitness network monitoring appliance as well, using Hadoop and its enVision log management system to turn it into a big data security analytics platform.