Symantec Buys Encryption Specialist PGP for $300M

Symantec will acquire encryption specialist PGP and endpoint security vendor GuardianEdge Technologies for US$300 million and $70 million respectively, the company said on Thursday.

Both are privately held companies. Symantec said the deals are subject to regulatory approval but are expected to close by June.

Symantec said the companies' combined specialties in standards-based encryption for e-mail, file systems, removable media and smartphones will complement its security offerings, such as its gateway, endpoint security and data-loss prevention software.

Encrypting information offers a higher level of security in case data is lost or stolen. Earlier this month, the U.K. increased the fine under the Data Protection Act for organizations that lose data to a maximum of £500,000 (US$765,000).

Symantec said it will standardize its products on PGP's key management platform, which allows administrators to centrally manage encryption tasks. That platform will be integrated into the Symantec Protection Center, a management console for its products.

GuardianEdge, which specializes in security for laptops, portable storage devices and smartphones, is already a partner of Symantec for its Endpoint Encryption product. The company has particular strength in the government market, Symantec said.

The two companies will become part of Symantec's Enterprise Security Group, headed by Francis deSouza, senior vice president.

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