Google is beefing up its cyber security muscle with a US$5.4-billion acquisition of Mandiant, the company responsible for unveiling the SolarWinds attack.
The all-cash deal, valued at US$23.00 per share, will see Mandiant's 600 security consultants and more than 300 intelligence analysts join Google Cloud as the latter looks to "advance its security" offerings.
Founded in 2004, Mandiant has risen to prominence over the years for its high-profile revelations of China's alleged cyber espionage in 2013 and the attack on the US federal government via the SolarWinds supply chain.
The attack, alleged to have been sponsored by the Russian government, went under the radar for roughly a year until Mandiant reported details of the operation in December 2020.
Mandiant, which was bought by FireEye for US$106 million in 2013, was recently divested from its parent company following the latter's acquisition by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group.
Having flown as an independent publicly traded company since then, Mandiant will now become part of Google Cloud's end-to-end security operations suite.
According to Mandiant, the deal will provide Google Cloud with greater capabilities as well as advisory services helping customers address critical security challenges and stay protected at every stage of the security lifecycle.
Broken down, this will cover: advisory services; threat detection; automated response tools; testing and validation and managed defense.
“Cyber security is a mission, and we believe it’s one of the most important of our generation," said Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant. "Google Cloud shares our mission-driven culture to bring security to every organisation
“Together, we will deliver our expertise and intelligence at scale via the Mandiant Advantage software-as-a-service platform, as part of the Google Cloud security portfolio. These efforts will help organisations to effectively, efficiently and continuously manage and configure their complex mix of security products.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, noted Mandiant's reputation for providing organisations with "unmatched insights" in a changing security landscape.
“This is an opportunity to deliver an end-to-end security operations suite and extend one of the best consulting organisations in the world," he added. "Together we can make a profound impact in securing the cloud, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing, and ultimately make the world safer.”
The acquisition of Mandiant is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close later this year.