Facebook Might Target FireEye to Restore Reputation After ‘Embarrassing’ Security Breaches

Facing a $645,000 fine from the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office for the Cambridge Analytica data breach, and the recent attack on its computer network that exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users, Facebook could probably use some help in the cybersecurity department.

Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, said Facebook probably believes it needs the credibility of a major security company to help fix its reputation “after a series of embarrassing security breaches and failure to stop political instigators.”

For such an acquisition to work, the cybersecurity company needs name-brand recognition, he said. Without it, Facebook won’t reap the benefits of generating the perception that it’s serious about security.

The cybersecurity company will need substantial revenue and healthy profit with interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization added back to it, Walsh said.

“Facebook is investing in perception over reality, but it doesn’t want to take on a losing bet,” he said. “Any acquisition will need to be fiscally sound.”

In addition, the company needs security capabilities that address Facebook’s core and related security issues, Walsh said. And it won’t be a hardware company, as Facebook is unlikely to take on the logistical challenges associated with selling and supporting physical devices, he said.

“If you apply this criterion, FireEye makes a lot of sense as its core competency is incident response, it has solid software security technology, and it’s a sizable company by revenue,” he said. “And while FireEye isn’t necessarily profitable and isn’t the best-known company outside of enterprise circles, it does have a solid reputation in the security industry and substantial government contracts.” ...

Written by Edward Gately

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