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Accenture To Buy Symantec Cyber Security Services Unit From Broadcom

Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business has more than 300 employees and is anchored by the company’s managed security services practice, which is one of just five to be recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Accenture plans to purchase Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom to better help organizations anticipate, detect and respond to cyber threats.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company, No. 2 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500, said the proposed acquisition also includes Symantec’s global threat monitoring and analysis capabilities through a network of six operation centers located in the U.S., the U.K., India, Australia, Singapore and Japan. The Cyber Security Services business has more than 300 employees globally.

“With the addition of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, Accenture Security will offer one of the most comprehensive managed services for global businesses to detect and manage cybersecurity threats aimed at their companies,” Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said in a statement.

[Related: Broadcom-Symantec Enterprise Deal: How It Came To Be, What Will Happen Now]

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 101 on the CRN 2019 Solution Provider 500, said the Accenture acquisition is yet another example of a company trying to come to grips with the increasing security threats facing customers.

“Everyone is concerned and rightfully so about the security threat landscape,” he said. “If you ask customers, it is their biggest concern right now. Accenture and a lot of the big organizations need to have a much stronger play in that environment if they are to remain relevant to the Fortune 1000 and top enterprise organizations.”

Venero said the acquisition could have an impact on channel partners that were reselling Symantec Cyber Security Services. For his part, he said, Future Tech has chosen to work closely with Secureworks. “Security can’t be a secondary focus,” he said “That’s why we have partnered with Secureworks.”

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in March, were not disclosed. The proposed deal comes just two months after Broadcom closed its $10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec’s Enterprise Security business, which included the Cyber Security Services assets.

Accenture’s stock remains unchanged at $208.43 in pre-market trading Tuesday, while Broadcom’s stock is up $1.22 (0.39 percent) to $314.94 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

The focal point of the transaction is Symantec’s managed security services business, which is supported by a proprietary cloud-based platform that delivers a steady stream of technical and cyber adversary threat intelligence through a customizable portal. The acquired business also includes real-time adversary and industry-specific threat intelligence and incident response services, Accenture said.

“With Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, we can now bring clients our combined expertise fine-tuned to their industry with tailored global threat intelligence powered by advanced analytics, automation and machine learning,” Accenture Security Senior Managing Director Kelly Bissell said in a statement.

The Symantec Cyber Security Services business supports organizations across a diverse range of industries, including financial services, utilities, health, government, communications, media, technology and retail. The deal should help Accenture provide flexibility rather than a "one size fits all" approach to managed security services, according to Bissell.

The sale of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business had been expected ever since Broadcom President and CEO Hock Tan told investors in August 2019 that he planned to focus on Symantec’s endpoint, web and data loss protection products, while scaling down investment in other areas where the return may not be as profitable.

Other areas where Symantec Enterprise Security had offerings include email security, network security, managed security services and consulting, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Symantec’s email security, managed security and consulting businesses generated $548 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended March 29, down 0.5 percent from $551 million the year prior.

Symantec was one of just five companies to be named a leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services, alongside IBM, Secureworks, Trustwave and Verizon. All of the services evaluated by Gartner will now become part of Accenture, which wasn’t featured at all in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services.

“Becoming part of Accenture Security is a tremendous opportunity for our clients and our cyber warriors around the globe, enabling us to fuse the unique services, capabilities and solutions of two well-established companies to deliver the next generation of cybersecurity services,” John Lionato, vice president and general manager of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, said in a statement.

Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business will be the latest in a series of acquisitions by Accenture focused on threat intelligence and cybersecurity, which include the purchases of Deja vu Security, iDefense, Maglan, Redcore, Arismore and FusionX. All told, Accenture spent nearly $1.2 billion on 33 acquisitions globally in the company’s 2019 fiscal year, which ended May 31.

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