Feeds

Google bags hosted security firm Postini for $625m

Adds security muscle to Google apps

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Updated Google has announced a plan to acquire on-demand web security firm Postini for $625m cash. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by end of the third quarter 2007, after which Postini will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google.

Postini's services - which include email filtering, archiving, encryption, and policy enforcement - are used to protect customers' email, instant messaging and other web-based communications from security threats and productivity drains such as spam and viruses. The firm competes with firms such as MessageLabs and BlackSpider (which was bought by SurfControl for around $42m in July 2006, prior to its own $400m acquisition in April 2007).

Postini's technology is used by 10 million users at 35,000 firms worldwide. BlackSpider protects 500,000 users at 1,200 customers (mainly in Europe). The difference in size goes a long way towards explaining why Google paid 15 times more for a similar set of hosted security technologies.

Google said it plans to use Postini's technology to boost the appeal of its Google Apps package of hosted office applications to larger businesses. It also pledged to continued to invest in Postini's existing line of hosted security products.

"The response to Google Apps has been tremendous, with more than 1,000 small businesses signing up for the service every day. At the same time, large businesses have been reluctant to move to hosted applications due to issues of security and corporate compliance. By adding Postini products to Google's technology, businesses no longer have to choose," said Dave Girouard, VP and general manager of Google Enterprise.

In a conference call, Girouard added without giving figures that there had been "significant interest" from large business about Google Apps but that complex security requirements and meeting regulatory compliance have acted as a barrier. "Up to date we have focused on partnerships to resolve these issue but we recognised it's in our own interest to pull things together" by buying a technology that can boost its hosted apps business.

Both firms said delivering software as a service offered several beenfits to customers such as ease of implementation and taking away maintenance headaches. "off the shelf software doesn't work," said Scott Petry, founder and CTO of Postini.

Google's Girouard added: "Software as a service is a better delivery method. Google didn't invent this, that was down to others, but we intend to capitalise on it." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.