Google Announces Acquisition Of Cyber Firm Mandiant

In early 2020, malicious hackers infiltrated the network and software of major technology firm SolarWinds, precipitating a widespread security breach impacting tens of thousands of customers, ranging from elite cybersecurity companies to the upper echelons of the U.S. Government, including the Department of Homeland Security. The fallout from the attack not only brought about widespread change in technology supply chain management, but also catapulted cyber firm Mandient, which discovered the breach, to the top of the headlines. Top cloud companies have taken note of the firm’s value, which led to Mandient’s recent acquisition.

Both Microsoft and Google were rumored to be potential buyers of the company, which draws on the work of more than 600 security consultants and 300 intelligence analysts, but Google ultimately closed the deal in an all-cash transaction valued at about $5.4 billion. The recently acquired firm will be rolled into Google Cloud with the goal of creating an end-to-end security operations suite providing a range of services, from consulting to penetration testing.

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“There has never been a more critical time in cybersecurity. Since our founding in 2004, Mandiant’s mission has been to combat cyber-attacks and protect our customers from the latest threats,” Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia said in a press statement. “To that end, we are thrilled to be joining forces with Google Cloud. Together, we will deliver expertise and intelligence at scale, changing the security industry.”

The deal should prove to be a major boost to Google’s cloud computing business, which generates more than $19 billion in annual revenue, strengthening its cloud security operations as well as its advisory services. The technology powerhouse offered $23 per share, a premium of about 53% to Mandiant’s stock price levels prior to rumors of Microsoft’s courtship. Mandiant became a standalone entity in 2021 after FireEye sold its products business and brand to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group.

The move comes at a time where cyber threats are at an all-time high, as state-backed malicious actors and criminal gangs continue their assault against public and private networks. Russia, China, and North Korea are all known to support groups of hackers working to undermine government and business operations, steal money, and potentially attack critical infrastructure. The acquisition stands to combine Mandiant’s extensive cyber expertise with Google’s cloud clout and financial resources, providing a significant boost to the company’s effectiveness in identifying and resisting cyber threats.