SecurityBrief Asia - Symantec sells digital certificate business – good or bad for customers & partners?

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Symantec sells digital certificate business – good or bad for customers & partners?

​There has been much discussion about the potential implications that could arise following the recent news that Symantec is selling its digital certificate business to DigiCert.

Under the agreement, DigiCert will acquire Symantec’s Website Security and PKI solutions in exchange for approximately $950 million in upfront cash proceeds and approximately a 30 percent stake in the common stock equity of the DigiCert business at the closing of the transaction.

The two companies assert the addition of Symantec’s website security solutions to DigiCert’s offerings will bring together the industry's top talent and provide customers with an enhanced technology platform, unparalleled customer support and market-leading innovations.

Apparently, DigiCert will also gain capabilities to take advantage of growth opportunities in IoT and bring new approaches to the SSL market.

However, president of Comodo CA, Michael Fowler says this is not the case.

“This represents a huge disruption for businesses of all sizes that rely on Symantec, and associated brands of Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL, as their primary Certificate Authority (CA),” says Fowler.

“Symantec customers and partners are now faced with even more uncertainty with the types of products, capabilities, brand recognition and support they will receive as the Symantec SSL brands transition to another, lesser-known CA.”

Conversely, Symantec CEO, Greg Clark assures that the acquisition will have only positive benefits for partners and clients.

“Transitioning our Website Security and related PKI solutions to DigiCert allows us to sharpen our enterprise focus on delivering unparalleled protection for the cloud generation through Symantec's Integrated Cyber Defense Platform,” says Clark.

“As our recently announced deals with Fireglass and Skycure demonstrate, we are accelerating the pace of innovation we bring to market through a combination of acquisitions as well as development from the ground up.”

Clark also adds that they carefully examined their options to ensure customers would have a world-class experience with a seamless transition to DigiCert.

​DigiCert CEO, John Merril has a positive outlook on the acquisition and says they are looking forward to building a great security company and supporting all of Symantec’s and DigiCert’s customers well into the future.

“We have assembled the best team in the industry to help us deliver even better security solutions and service to our customers,” says  DigiCert CEO John Merrill.

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead, and will work toward a smooth transition for customers and employees of Symantec’s Website Security business.”

Despite these positive sentiments, Fowler asserts that already Comodo has gained from the uncertainty created from the acquisition.

 “Customers and partners have been coming to us in droves because they feel they were left without a lot of answers at a time when their businesses are at risk,” says Fowler.

“Comodo can offer them the stability, as well as equal, if not more, solutions and capabilities than they have today. Meanwhile, Symantec profits from the highest bidder, who will be saddled with picking up the pieces.”

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