Feeds

Google bags hosted security firm Postini for $625m

Adds security muscle to Google apps

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.