By MAY WONG
AP Technology Writer
Oct. 25, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. BT Group PLC, the former British telecom monopoly,
said Wednesday it bought Silicon Valley-based Counterpane Internet
Security Inc. to boost its computer security services for corporate
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition is the latest example of industry giants looking to beef
up their security offerings.
Data storage provider EMC Corp. completed two deals with information
security companies this year, buying RSA Security and Network
Intelligence for a total of $2.3 billion. International Business
Machines Corp. is set to soon close a $1.3 billion acquisition of
network monitoring company Internet Security Systems Inc.
Counterpane monitors 550 computer networks worldwide for multinational
and Fortune 100 customers to help them guard against hackers and other
security threats. The privately held company, launched in 1999, had
assets of $6.8 million at the beginning of last year, BT said in a
One of Counterpane's founders was Bruce Schneier, a leading cryptologist
who in recent years has become a wide-ranging security guru and critic
of national security practices.
Under the buyout, Schneier will continue in his role as Counterpane's
chief technology officer and Paul Stich will remain chief executive.
"They didn't hire me to be a yes man," Schneier said Wednesday in a
phone interview from France, where he was a speaker at a security
conference. "I'm going to be an independent security thinker, and they
Talk of a possible acquisition began about a year ago.
A deal with a global services company made sense for the startup,
Schneier said. "A large public company gives us instant credibility, and
they've got access to customers, giving us enormous opportunities to
BT said Counterpane will help expand its security management services,
particularly in the U.S.
"Security threats get more sophisticated and a larger number of
companies are outsourcing the management of their security
infrastructure to specialized security service providers. Counterpane is
a leader in this space," said Andy Green, chief executive of BT Global
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