Thales Group, a longtime securer of virtualized systems and a provider of data protection to the financial services, manufacturing, government and technology sectors, revealed Oct. 19 that it will acquire data-centric protection firm Vormetric for $400 million.
Data-centric security defines a trend in IT in which the primary function is the management and manipulation of data itself, rather than security focused primarily on the application, networking or storage. This type of security follows the data item or store around wherever it travels—on-premises or off.
With the advent of virtualized IT systems, the worldwide explosion in the use of cloud and managed services, and the increasing usage of data storage and big data analytics inside clouds, data is often separated in so-called "chunks" for security purposes and spread in various locations. Later, when the entire file is needed, systems reassemble these chunks—usually with a just-in-time methodology.
All this movement has made security a central problem, and data-centric security—centered around government-level encryption—has come to the rescue as the only way to handle all this travel in a reliable fashion.
Fills Some Gaps
The acquisition of Vormetric, which will be integrated into the Thales e-Security subsidiary after the deal closes, brings Thales (pronounced "TALL-iss") a range of proprietary data-centric security technologies that it had lacked.
Fourteen-year-old Vormetric, based in San Jose, Calif., provides products that are able to be deployed individually while also being centrally managed, including file-level encryption, application-layer encryption, tokenization, cloud encryption gateway, integrated key management, and security intelligence logging.
This dovetails with Thales's long-term approach to security, company President Cindy Provin said.
"The combination of our two organizations will provide comprehensive data protection solutions to the enterprise enabling data-centric security on premise, in the cloud and across all applications, including big data," Provin said. "This acquisition delivers a strong foundation of security application technology that enables us to evolve our trust management strategy and offer our customers the world's leading data security solutions.”
Need for Data-Centric Security Will Continue to Grow
Alan Kessler, President and CEO of Vormetric, said the current cyber-security environment calls for extensive growth of data protection services. "Our shared vision is one of seamless data-centric protection across the enterprise," Kessler said.
Vormetric has a workforce of 200 employees and counts about 1,500 enterprises, including 17 of the U.S. largest 30 companies, to protect their sensitive data from both internal and external threats. The company's scalable Vormetric Data Security Platform protects any file, any database and any application's data—anywhere it resides—with a high-performance, market-leading solution set. The company revenues are on pace to reach $75 million for the current fiscal year.
France-based Thales Group is among the world's market leaders in hardware security modules (HSMs), which protect numerous critical networks and the data of 19 of the 20 largest banks in the world, the company said.