McAfee to acquire Trust Digital to further mobile security

McAfee signs agreement to acquire privately held Trust Digital as part of its strategy to expand into the mobile security arena

McAfee Tuesday said it's signed an agreement to acquire privately held Trust Digital as part of its strategy to expand into the mobile security arena, the enterprise sector in particular. The acquisition price for Trust Digital was not disclosed.

Tech M&A deals of 2010"The acquisition of Trust Digital's industry-leading enterprise mobility management solutions will extend the current McAfee security portfolio beyond the traditional endpoint, addressing the rapidly expanding mobile security market," said Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee. "Once completed, Trust Digital's industry leading enterprise mobility management solutions combined with leading McAfee antvirus, antispyware, host intrusion prevention, policy auditing and firewall technologies, will enable McAfee to address the mobile workforce by mitigating the risks associated with vulnerable or malicious mobile applications downloaded by employees."

DeWalt spoke about the planned acquisition during McAfee’s Analyst Day in New York Tuesday.

Trust Digital focuses on a range of mobile operating systems, including iPhone OS, Android, Web OS, Windows Mobile and Symbian.  "Together, we will enable IT to say 'yes' to the iPhone and Android," said Mark Shull, CEO of Trust Digital, on the combination of McAfee and Trust Digital. Trust Digital, said to have a few dozen customers, has just over 30 employees expected to join McAfee.

Brian Foster, senior vice president of product management at McAfee, said the strategy is to expand into enterprise management of mobile smartphones, for instance, integrating Trust Digital's encryption and management capabilities for Android with McAfee content protection and other security. Plans are also to bring Trust Digital's products under McAfee's common management console, ePolicy Orchestrator.

"It makes sense for McAfee -- or any of the large players -- so they can stay ahead of the demand," said Gartner analyst John Giraud. "The issue is protecting information on smartphones as they get more powerful, the iPhone and Android in particular. This is a fresh topic for a lot of people."

Girard said Trust Digital is small enough to be affordable for McAfee, which is making a good move in this acquisition.The acquisition is expected to be completed by June 30th.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

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Ellen Messmer

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