DigiCert and Symantec Make Shocking 1 Billion Security Deal

DigiCert is a local company with a worldwide footprint. As a member of the exclusive community of trusted certificate authorities, it provides digital certificates to websites, allowing web browsers to prove encryption and trust to users. Now they are expanding even more, announcing an almost $1 billion deal with Symantec. Read to find out more.

DigiCert is one of those SSL certificates companies we talked about a few days ago. What sets them apart is that they are close to home, being located in the heart of the Silicon Slopes in Lehi Utah. Driving down the I-15 highway you can see it right off the road, big brown building on the west side. What you don’t see, however, is a much bigger picture.

DigicCrt announced last week that it was set to purchase Symantec’s Website Security and PKI Solutions (Symantec is another major internet security company and the creators of the popular Norton Security software). The purchase price is set to be almost $1 billion, which is a large acquisition in any industry. The purchase will expand Digicert’s reaches into the internet security field greatly, allowing them to reach an even broader customer base and have greater market sway.

The deal also benefits Symantec more than just money. Recently there has been a feud with Google, where Symantec’s digital certificates have had trouble being validated by Chrome, Google’s web browser. Digicert and Symantec are both trusted third parties, meaning that they verify certificates of websites for the browsers. This acquisition by Digicert will hopefully put out the fires between Google and Symantec.

Symantec might even be making this deal simply to appease Google, because though the purchase price is sizable, it’s pocket change for Symantec. In 2015, they sold another part of their company (Veritas Technologies) for $8 billion. In February, they purchased LifeLock, a reputation defender company, for $2.3 billion. Last year they purchased Blue Coat, a network security company, for $4.65 billion. Money, it seems, is not always the main concern in a business deal.

DigiCert now will take over Symantec’s digital internet certificate verification. This merger will potentially raise DigiCert’s market share to be the second largest in certificate authorities, after Comodo. Symantec was originally #2, but the acquisition means a potential merger of all certificates. Details of the purchase are not yet known.

Money should never be the main factor that determines whether cyber security is a good investment. SSL Certificates are important because they encrypt the communication between the website and the web browser, and the certificate proves the trustworthiness of the encryption key. It’s interesting to note that only certain companies are considered trustworthy, and certificates purchased from non-trusted third parties are rejected by web browsers. This is a service that is definitely worth investing in.

Other questions we still have unanswered: What does this mean for Utah? Is DigiCert going to be hiring a lot of people really soon? Are they going to build more buildings, or leave the state for the Bay Area, where Symantec is based? Wherever they go, and whatever they do, big changes are in store for the SSL certificate community (which should be you if you’re smart).