March 10, 2022
Alphabet has agreed to purchase cybersecurity firm Mandiant in a deal valued at nearly $5.4 billion. Mandiant — which services global enterprises, governments and law enforcement agencies — brings expertise that will fortify Alphabet’s Google Cloud with increased security at a time when businesses worldwide are focused on preventing cyberattacks. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close later this year. The fact that Mandiant complements, rather than expands, Google’s sphere of influence should prove beneficial as Alphabet faces antitrust lawsuits from the Justice Department and U.S. states.
If approved, the deal would be Alphabet’s second largest acquisition, after the $12.5 billion deal to acquire Motorola Mobility in 2011. Speaking Tuesday at a Morgan Stanley conference, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat called Mandiant “an extraordinary player in cybersecurity,” and said it would enable Google to provide critical end-to-end solutions in an important area of focus.
“It goes to our commitment around cybersecurity but also all we’re doing in cloud,” Porat said on CNBC, explaining the investment will allow Google Cloud to “address the idiosyncratic needs within each industry, whether it’s finance versus retail versus healthcare.”
Google has over the past year been diligently working to increase its global market share in cloud services. It seems to be working. A February report issued by Statista places Google Cloud as the third largest global cloud purveyor, after Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, up a notch over the fourth-place ranking Gartner assessed in August.
In the intervening months, Google Cloud added exchange giant CME Group as a client by purchasing $1 billion of its stock. In January, Google Cloud announced the formation of a dedicated digital assets team to focus on cryptocurrency and NFTs, listing Hedera, Theta Labs and Dapper Labs as blockchain clients.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in The Wall Street Journal that he intends to retain the Mandiant brand, and looks forward to insight into Mandiant’s threat research and the application of security solutions to its products.
Mandiant was founded by CEO Kevin Mandia “in 2004, years before nation-state hacks had become regular front-page news,” WSJ writes, adding that “U.S. intelligence agencies have come to rely on the insights provided by Mandiant and other companies that shed light on the motives and tactics of hackers in Russia, China, Iran and elsewhere.”