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Symantec Acquires LifeLock For £1.9bn To Boost Norton Division

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The security giant looks to turn its ailing consumer security software division

Symantec is acquiring US identity theft company LifeLock for $2.3 billion (£1.9bn), in a bid to shore up its consumer cyber security products.

The security giant championed the acquisition as a means to make the “world’s largest consumer security business” once it is combined with its Norton consumer security division.

Shoring up security

Norton iAntivirus“With the combination of Norton and LifeLock, we will be able to deliver comprehensive cyber defence for consumers,” said Greg Clark, Symantec’s chief executive.

“This acquisition marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of Digital Safety for consumers.”

Acquiring LifeLock could go some way to changing Symantec’s fortunes in the consumer market. It normally bundles its software with personal computers, but declining sales of such hardware in the face of rising sales of mobile devices has meant Symantec has lost some of the ground in the market.

Having LifeLock under its corporate banner will give Symantec the means to broaden the security products and services it can offer, which could go someway to claw back lost ground. It had already made steps towards that direction with the purchase of internet security firm Blue Coat in August.

For LifeLock, according to the company’s chief executive Hilary Schneider, being bought by Symantec will allow the firm to enhance its products.  

“Together with Symantec we can deploy enhanced technology and analytics to provide our customers with unparalleled information and identity protection services,” she said.

Symantec software division could do with a shot in the arm after it got into hot water when a member of its partner company was discovered to be running a scam that scared users into buying overpriced security software from its Norton brand. Embarrassingly, the flaw was discovered by rival cyber security firm Malwarebytes.

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