French telecommunications multinational Orange has bought the UK’s largest independent cybersecurity provider, Maidstone-headquartered SecureData, from its private equity and management team owners for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes its penetration testing and consulting arm, SensePost.
The acquisition, announced this morning, was described by Orange, which has revenues of circa €41 billion annually and over 261 million customers globally, as “another step toward establishing Orange’s position as a leading player in the European cybersecurity market.”
SecureData, founded in 1992, has over 200 employees in the UK and South Africa, over 50 of whom it describes as “high end” security researchers and pen testers. It will join the Orange Cyberdefense Division (OCD), which employs a sizeable team from its HQ at La Défense in the Paris area.
The acquisition of @securedataeu is a new step to make @Orangecyberdef the reference of the European cyber security services market.
I’m happy to welcome @securedataeu experts in the Orange Cyberdefense family. https://t.co/D0Ox3zlkSO
— Michel VanDenBerghe (@MVDBCampusCyber) February 1, 2019
Chairman Ian Brown told Computer Business Review in a call: “We’d been talking for a few months and the more we talked, the more we realised we share the same aspirations and goals. Some of our mid-sized customers are starting operations overseas and this helps give our team real reach. There’s a huge skills shortage in cyber: more and more customers are turning to managed services providers like SecureData.”
The acquisition of SecureData will significantly expand OCD’s operations, with the UK being the largest Western European market for managed security services, SecureData noted. It will also enable the expansion of its operations in the African continent through SecureData’s South African business.
“SecureData’s existing Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Maidstone will add to the existing 9 Cyber SOC’s and 4 CERT’s around the globe, allowing SecureData to provide an enhanced range of services to both national and international customers. SecureData will also be partnering with other parts of the Orange Group, including Orange Business Services, to deliver cybersecurity services to the enlarged group’s customer base.”
“The envisaged organisation is designed to ensure continuity of SecureData’s commercial and operational autonomy” it added.
“We are very proud and happy to announce the acquisition of SecureData, which will mark a major milestone in Orange’s development in Europe’s cybersecurity market. SecureData, just like Orange Cyberdefense, has successfully made the transition toward Managed Security Services, and shares the same passion for Cyber” said Hugues Foulon, Executive Director of Strategy and Cybersecurity activities at Orange.
SecureData’s management team and private equity fund August Equity bought the company out from its overseas owner in 2012.
SecureData has since acquired Quadrant Networks in 2012 and SensePost in 2014.