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Accenture to acquire Symantec’s security services unit from Broadcom

Accenture has agreed to buy a division of Symantec from Broadcom as it attempts to expand its presence in the managed security services sector.

Broadcom acquired Symantec’s enterprise division for $10.7bn (£8.2bn) in November, but has not disclosed how much it is raising by selling on the firm’s security services unit.

In recent years Accenture has acquired a number of security firms, including iDefense, Maglan and Redcore, and claims its latest acquisition will further bolster its managed security services offering.

“Cyber security has become one of the most critical business imperatives for all organisations regardless of industry or geographic location,” said Accenture CEO Julie Sweet.

“With the addition of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, Accenture Security will offer one of the most comprehensive managed services for global businesses to detect and manage cyber security threats aimed at their companies.”

Symantec boasts security operations centres in the US, UK, India, Australia, Singapore and Japan, and provides global threat monitoring and incident response services.

John Lionato, vice president and general manager of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, described the acquisition as a “tremendous opportunity” for clients and employees.

Analysts’ doubts over original Symantec buyout

It is not clear why Broadcom has offloaded Symantec’s security services division so soon after acquiring the business. But when plans for the acquisition were announced last year, some analysts cast doubt on the deal.

While Forrester said it represented good value for Symantec’s investors, they warned that Broadcom was “wading into the tricky waters of a hardware company busying a cyber security software company”.

Forrester added: “Broadcom’s recent track record with enterprise software has not been encouraging. While some point to Broadcom’s 2018 acquisition of CA Technologies for $18 billion as evidentiary proof that Broadcom can integrate software companies successfully, Broadcom has moved aggressively to slash CA’s operating costs.”

The firm’s analysts also questioned Broadcom’s commitment to managed security services. “Symantec also recently began aggressively bundling its product offerings by attaching security services to them; whether Broadcom continues this strategy or chooses to exit the security services business altogether remains to be seen,” they noted.