BT snaps up security specialist Counterpane

News Analysis

BT snaps up security specialist Counterpane

BT has acquired managed security services vendor Counterpane Internet Security in a deal said to be worth “tens of millions of dollars”.

Counterpane, founded by widely visible security commentator Bruce Schneier, monitors and manages the security of about 550 corporate networks worldwide. Its acquisition continues a trend of consolidation in the security market, as larger companies have picked up smaller ones to boost technical expertise within their own services practices.

In another example, IBM recently completed the $1.3bn acquisition of one of the best-known managed services companies, Atlanta's Internet Security Systems.

Schneier will stay on as chief technology officer for the Counterpane unit, as well as continue to be an independent security commentator.

Rationalisation in the security world was clearly due, with a whole range of companies – notably in the storage space – eager to buy in security expertise. EMC, for example, bought RSA Security – but BT buying Counterpane? That was probably one that many didn’t see coming.

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