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February 8, 2022
Twitter is abuzz with tweets touting Microsoft pursuing an acquisition. Seeking Alpha said although no deal is finalized, according to a source familiar with the discussions, Microsoft might look to acquire the cybersecurity-research company to bolster its products, and help protect customers from hacks and breaches. It attributes news of the acquisition to Bloomberg.
Both Microsoft and Mandiant declined to comment.
Last fall, FireEye changed its corporate name and relaunched as Mandiant. FireEye sold its products business, including the FireEye brand, for $1.2 billion. A consortium led by Symphony Technology Group (STG) was the buyer.
Microsoft shares were up nearly 1% to $303 per share, while Mandiant’s stock surged 17% following the report.
Jeff Pollard is vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.
Forrester’s Jeff Pollard
“A few years ago, we predicted the tech titans would dominate cybersecurity and Microsoft continues its mission to do just that,” he said. “Cybersecurity is a key part of Microsoft’s overall enterprise strategy. And snagging Mandiant shortly after the company ended its long marriage with FireEye would serve as more evidence.”
The idea of a standalone Mandiant regaining the standing it once had made for an excellent story, Pollard said. However, that was always an unlikely proposition.
“Mandiant spent years locked into all the FireEye ecosystem of technologies, and only just opened up its services to non-FireEye technologies in the last year or so,” he said. “Mandiant finds itself with strong services offerings, but needs to play catch-up. Expanding its stable of intellectual property, marketing and sales efforts for the ‘new Mandiant,’ and scaling services on a global basis are expensive endeavors.”
Microsoft would reap the benefits of acquiring a cybersecurity brand with enormous prestige and a strong lineage, Pollard said. Moreover, it fills portfolio gaps with managed detection and response (MDR), extended detection and response (XDR), security validation and attack surface management.
In addition, the Microsoft Security Response Center and Detection and Response Team would get strong personnel added to them in areas like incident response and threat intelligence.
Mandiant provides public and private organizations and critical infrastructure worldwide with early threat insights through intelligence and response expertise for cyber incidents.
This would be Microsoft’s second acquisition in the new year. It already announced its acquisition of videogaming giant Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion all-cash deal
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