Update: EMC to buy RSA Security for $2.1 billion

Information-centric security strategy is cited

EMC, in a bold move to buttress its information management technologies with world-class data protection and access management, has agreed to buy RSA Security for about $2.1 billion in an all-cash transaction, the companies announced on Thursday.

The merger would unite market leaders with a shared vision for helping organizations of all sizes securely manage information throughout its lifecycle, the companies said. Through the acquisition, EMC adds identity and access management, encryption, and key management software to its security portfolio.

"The combination of EMC and RSA will be of tremendous value to our joint customers," said Art Coviello, president and CEO of RSA, during a teleconference.

"Information security is a top priority among executives around the world, and it has become an inseparable attribute of information management," said Joe Tucci, EMC chairman, president, and CEO. "Businesses can’t secure what they don’t manage, and when it comes to securing information, that means simply two things: managing the data and managing access to the data," he said. Bringing RSA into the EMC fold provides EMC with the technologies to deliver information lifecycle management securely, he added.

EMC's acquisition of RSA continues a recent trend of mergers and acquisitions in the security space, said analyst Dan Blum, senior vice president and research director for security and risk management at Burton Group. He cited Symantec's recent purchase of Veritas as another example.

"[EMC's move] is another episode in a string of acquisitions heralding consolidation in the security software market," Blum said.

"It gives them a strong position in several categories of the security software market including cryptography, authentication and Web access management," he said.

It is too early to tell whether EMC's RSA buy is a good idea, said Blum.

"At this point EMC hasn't articulated a security strategy to us," Blum said

Integrating RSA authentication and access capabilities will build on EMC's foundation for securing products and processes, the companies said. RSA's encryption and key management technology will be central to EMC's strategy to protect information regardless of whether it is within or outside of an organization.

Under terms of the agreement, EMC will pay $28 per share for each share of RSA and the assumption of outstanding options. The transaction is expected to close late in the third quarter of this year or early in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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