Security Experts:

Dell To Acquire Data Protection Firm Credant Technologies

Dell on Tuesday said that it has agreed to acquire Credant Technologies, an Addison, Texas-based provider of data protection solutions, to add security for endpoints, servers, storage and the cloud to its growing security portfolio.

Update: On Thursday, Dec. 20, Dell announced that it has completed the acquisition of Credant.

Dell Logo The combination of Dell and Credant will enhance Dell’s existing product lines by delivering an endpoint security strategy that will allow users to protect their data, whether it’s on the device, in the cloud, or on mobile, Brett Hansen, executive director of end user computing software product marketing at Dell told SecurityWeek. The combination of technologies and expertise will allow Dell to provide customers with a comprehensive line of products to make it easier to secure and protect data.

Credant offers simplified security management, with the full end-user ecosystems of PCs, tablets, external media, mobile devices, and public clouds on a single screen. Because it works seamlessly with existing IT processes and tools, the platform doesn’t interfere with existing maintenance tools such as patching and software updates.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to a shareholder vote and other approvals, and is expected to close by Jan. 31, 2013, Hansen said.

Dell expects to integrate Credant’s intellectual property across the entire product portfolio, allowing the company to “offer a differentiated security proposition based on its own intellectual property,” said Jeff Clarke, president of Dell Computing Solutions, in a statement. For example, Dell may use Credant assets to make Dell Latitude, OptiPlex and Dell Precision computers among the world’s most secure machines, he added.

Dell has made significant security investments in recent years, acquiring SecureWorks in 2011 for intrusion detection, buying SonicWall for network security, Kace for systems management, and Quest for identity access management. There aren’t any plans at this point to fold Credant into any other group, even among the researchers and engineers, but to foster full cooperation between the teams, Hansen said. The acquisition will give the engineers an opportunity to work across product lines and share knowledge about what customer pain points are and how Dell could meet their demands, he said.

As far as Dell is concerned, “security is not just about the endpoint, network, or server, but about bringing all those components together,” Hansen said.

Credant will be brought into Dell and will be part of Dell End Computing Solutions under Jeff Clarke, but function as an autonomous organization and everything will continue as usual, Hansen said. The goal is to minimize disruption, and invest in the group to meet customer needs.

Dell and Credant have already been working together since 2009, and Credant has devoted energy to build Dell Data Protection Encryption to protect user data.

“Together, we will continue to focus on innovation and building value that result in beneficial outcomes for our customers,” Bob Heard, CEO and founder of Credant, told SecurityWeek.

All Credant employees are expected to stay on in their capacity, Heard said. Heard will also remain with Credant. The plan is to maintain Credant's existing facility in Addison, Texas, Heard said.

The acquisition benefits Credant because it gives employees a “strategically outstanding career path” with more opportunities, but and additional investment in engineering and customer service will improve the company’s capabilities, Heard said. The larger distribution channel and go-to market strategy will make it easier for Credant to expand capabilities as requested by customers and hit the market faster than before.

“This combination allows Credant to bring its deep capabilities in data security to Dell’s robust solution set and customer base,” Heard said in a statement.

Fahmida Y. Rashid is a contributing writer for SecurityWeek. She has experience writing and reviewing security, core Internet infrastructure, open source, networking, and storage. Before setting out her journalism shingle, she spent nine years as a help-desk technician, software and Web application developer, network administrator, and technology consultant.