US cybersecurity giant NortonLifeLock is set to buy Czech rival Avast for more than $8 billion (approximately Rs. 59,560 crores) to create a leading consumer company, the pair announced Wednesday after the pandemic fueled online activity.
The deal, worth more than €6.7 billion (about Rs 58,400), “is a huge step forward for consumer cybersecurity and will ultimately enable us to realize our vision of protecting and empowering people. live their digital lives safely,” Norton CEO Vincent Pilette said in a joint statement.
Ondrej Vlcek, chief executive of London-listed Avast, said amid rising global cyber threats, the partnership would deliver “enhanced solutions and services, with enhanced capabilities”.
More than 500 million users will benefit from the new group’s security offerings, the statement said.
Pilette would become chief executive of the expanded group, while Vlcek would join NortonLifeLock as president and join the NortonLifeLock board.
The combined company, which will be listed on the Nasdaq, will have dual headquarters in Prague and Tempe, Arizona.
Businesses around the world are under threat from an increasingly lucrative form of digital hostage or ransomware attacks, in which hackers typically encrypt victims’ data and then demand money for restored access.
A massive ransomware attack on US tech company Kaseya in July affected businesses from pharmacies to gas stations in at least 17 countries.
While Kaseya was little known to the public, analysts say it was a ripe target as the software is used by about 40,000 companies, allowing the hackers to cripple many businesses with one blow.
“At a time when global cyber threats are increasing but cybersecurity penetration remains very low, together with NortonLifeLock we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing holistic cyber protection for consumers around the world,” Vlcek added on Wednesday. .
US cybersecurity officials announced last week that Amazon, Google and Microsoft had signed up to help them fight ransomware and protect cloud computing systems from hackers.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the tech giants are among the companies signed up to be part of a Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative designed to combine government and private skills and resources to fight hackers.