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TruSecure, BeTrusted Announce Merger

Enterprise IT security consultants TruSecure and BeTrusted have merged to form a standalone managed services firm called CyberTrust.

The deal creates a 1,000-employee firm to go head-to-head with the likes of Symantec , VeriSign and McAfee in the burgeoning market for Managed Security Services (MSS).

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Brett Jackson, who joins CyberTrust as chief operating officer, told internetnews.com the merger was necessary to blend security products from BeTrusted with TruSecure's expertise in the consulting business.

"We wanted to create a larger company so that high-end customers would feel comfortable doing business with us," Jackson said. "We now have the largest privately held security firm with the financial power and resources to support large customers around the world."

He said the merged company would rake in revenues in excess of $160 million from about 4,000 enterprise customers worldwide.

BeTrusted is known in the market for digital certificates secured with public key infrastructure technology. The company was previously owned by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The deal comes as more and more organizations are turning to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) for a range of security services to reduce costs and have access to full-time skilled security staff.

MSSPs offer network boundary protection, including managed services for firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS) and virtual private networks (VPNs). MSSPs also include security monitoring, incident management, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing and data archiving/restoration.

Financial services powerhouse Merrill Lynch, for example, has contracted VeriSign to manage hundreds of its network security devices worldwide.

Research firm Gartner projects that by 2005, 60 percent of enterprises will outsource the monitoring of at least one network boundary security technology. IDC has projected the vulnerability assessment and risk management market to reach $1.6 billion by 2008.

The CyberTrust merger also comes at a time when rivals McAfee (formerly Network Associates) and Symantec have turned to acquisitions to strengthen their MSS offerings. McAfee's moves include an $86 million cash deal for Foundstone; a $120 million deal to buy Entercept Security Technologies and a $100 million cash deal for IntruVert Networks.

Symantec has also been on an acquisition binge, spending millions of dollars to buy Riptech, Recourse Technologies, SecurityFocus, Brightmail, TurnTide and, most recently, @Stake.