FireEye buys Mandiant for nearly $1 billion to stamp out cyber attacks

The deal will give FireEye more tools to help companies identify and combat attacks

FireEye, a major enterprise security company, is hoping to better shield its customers from cyberattacks through its acquisition of privately held Mandiant for nearly US$1 billion.

On Thursday, FireEye announced its purchase of Mandiant for 21.5 million shares of FireEye stock and $106.5 million in net cash, which would price the transaction at roughly $990 million based on FireEye's closing stock price of $41.13. The transaction closed on Dec. 30.

With more than 1,500 customers across government, enterprise and small and mid-sized businesses and more than $104 million in revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2013, FireEye is already a big seller of security services designed to identify and thwart Web, email, cloud and mobile attacks. But with Mandiant, a cyber forensics firm, FireEye could expand its services at a time when cyberattacks are very much in the spotlight, given the high-profile attacks aimed at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and social sites such as Twitter.

Last year, Mandiant played a critical role in helping The New York Times track down alleged Chinese hackers who had breached its systems. The Washington Post has also hired the Alexandria, Virginia-based company to help it analyze and defend its IT resources, the paper said in its own report of the acquisition.

The deal builds on a previous collaboration between FireEye and Mandiant that was established in April 2012, and it will expand FireEye's ability "to stop advanced attacks at the earliest phases of the attack life cycle," the company said in its announcement.

Mandiant's products are designed to help companies' security teams respond faster to potential cyberattacks and provide better intelligence about when they might occur. Combining those services with FireEye will cover all the major potential attack points within an organization, Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia said in a statement.

The combined company will also offer security consulting, incident response and managed services, FireEye said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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