Dell beefs up Security-as-a-Service with SecureWorks buy

Security

by Steve Evans| 04 January 2011

Firms unite to fight 'frequency and sophistication' of threats

Dell has continued its push into the services sector with the acquisition of SecureWorks, a firm that specialises in managed security and threat intelligence. Financial terms were not disclosed although Dell did confirm it was a cash transaction.

The move is the latest effort from Dell to push into the services arena, a strategy that was given a massive kick when it acquired Perot Systems for $3.9bn in 2009. The SecureWorks Security as a Service platform will help Dell Services' BPO and IT outsourcing capabilities, the firm said, and help meet demand from customers for more "as-a-Service" products via a managed services offering.

The deal is a sign of the growing importance of security and compliance to businesses and echoes HP's acquisition of ArcSight for $1.5bn. SecureWorks deals with more than 13 billion "security events" and sees more than 30,000 malware specimens each day, Dell said. Michael Cote, CEO of SecureWorks, added that the company defines a "security event" as a potential security threat.

"The frequency and sophistication of attacks on technology infrastructure and malicious attempts to access data, requires reliable, capable and innovative information security," said Peter Altabef, president, Dell Services. "SecureWorks is a recognised industry leader in information security services and its offerings and expertise will immediately enhance our solutions portfolio."

"We look forward to welcoming SecureWorks team members - who bring their passion and dedication to serving clients with best-in-class security services - to Dell and our clients," Altabef said. He confirmed in a conference call that the SecureWorks leadership team will remain with Dell.

SecureWorks claims to have just under 3,000 customers, ranging from financial services firms to healthcare companies and it is said around 15% of the Fortune 500 use the company's services. It was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

SecureWorks has around 700 employees and projects FY2010 revenue of $120m. Using this revenue figure, CBR estimates the deal to be worth $300m - $450m.

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