Security Experts:

Utimaco to Acquire Atalla Hardware Security Module Business From Micro Focus

Aachen, Germany-based firm Utimaco will acquire the Atalla hardware security module (HSM) and enterprise secure key manager (ESKM) lines from UK-based Micro Focus. 

Announced on Friday, the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to complete by September 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

Both Utimaco and Atalla have been in the HSM business for around thirty years. Utimaco, the world's second largest supplier, has focused on general purpose HSMs sold via OEMs and the channel. Atalla has particular strengths in the financial services market, with access to top brand banking and financial services players, especially in the USA, UK and Asia.

"Both Utimaco and Atalla are pioneers in hardware security modules, the combination of which leads to an unrivalled wealth of experience and know-how," said Malte Pollmann, Utimaco’s CEO. "The acquisition of Atalla will mark a key milestone in the further implementation of our growth strategy. It is complementary in terms of product portfolio and regional footprint as well as the vertical markets we are addressing."

"As two of the leading pioneers in the hardware security modules business, Atalla and Utimaco are a perfect match, operating in complementary markets with aligned strengths that will help drive better alignment for customers and position Atalla for future growth,” said John Delk, general manager of security for Micro Focus."

Utimaco says it will maintain the existing Atalla team and further invest at Atalla's Sunnyvale, CA, location.

HSMs are specially hardened devices used to house and protect digital keys and signatures. Atalla's HSM is a payments hardware security module for protecting sensitive data and associated keys for non-cash retail payment transactions, cardholder authentication, and cryptographic keys.

The ESKM line provides a centralized key management hardware-based solution for unifying and automating an organization’s encryption key controls by creating, protecting, serving, and auditing access to encryption keys.

Micro Focus acquired Atalla after HPE CEO Meg Whitman announced, in September 2016, that it would be spun out and then merged with Micro Focus. 

Utimaco was acquired by Sophos in 2009. One year later, Sophos sold a majority interest to Apax Partners, and this was followed by a management buyout in 2013. Today, Utimaco's primary investors are EQT, PINOVA Capital and BIP Investment Partners S.A. 

Related: Google Announces New Cloud Key Management System 

Related: HP Unveils New Security Offerings for Cloud, Mobile, Threat Detection 

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Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.