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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

McAfee, Symantec add mobile security to lineup

Two well-known anti-virus software companies are expanding their reach into the security marketplace.  McAfee said Tuesday that it’s buying mobile security company Trust Digital. The announcement comes about a week after competitor Symantec’s decision to pay $1.28 billion to buy a division of VeriSign that sells security technology to websites.

Trust Digital, based in McLean, Va., is used by companies to secure data that travels through mobile networks, using such devices as Apple’s iPhone and iPad.  McAfee said the acquisition will extend its business into the mobile market, especially as employees increasingly use smart phones for work.The deal is expected to close by June 30. 

With the VeriSign deal, announced May 19, Symantec will have spent nearly $3 billion in two years acquiring technologies that make it a bigger player in other parts of the security market, such as protecting data on mobile phones and delivering software over the Internet.  Meanwhile, VeriSign, whose brand is ubiquitous on the Web for protecting online transactions, wants to secure fewer things.  Some were curious choices for VeriSign to have in the first place, such as a division that did billing services for telecommunications companies and another that sold ring tones and insurance for mobile phones.  The VeriSign division that Symantec is buying sells “certificates” to websites that want protection for their customers’ data.  The competition has forced VeriSign to sell more of its cheaper SSL certificates, too, even though their security measures are weaker.

Posted on 05/25