Google bolsters cloud security with $5.4B Mandiant acquisition

Google inked a $5.4 billion deal to acquire cybersecurity company Mandiant, in a move designed to strengthen the capabilities offered by its Google Cloud platform.

Founded in 2004, Mandiant offers threat detection, incident response and security validation services, as well as automated and managed defense capabilities and threat intelligence through its Advantage platform. Its team includes more than 600 consultants and 300 intelligence analysts.

Google Cloud already provides a number of security capabilities, including zero trust, security analytics, threat detection and VirusTotal to address malicious content and software vulnerabilities. It also has a Cybersecurity Action Team to provide expertise to customers.

By combining its existing offerings with those of Mandiant, though, Google said it will be able to provide end-to-end security on a greater scale.

“This is an opportunity to deliver an end-to-end security operations suite and extend one of the best consulting organizations in the world,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in a statement. “Together we can make a profound impact in securing the cloud, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing, and ultimately make the world safer.”

Google’s move comes as companies across the cloud and networking industries home in on security as a key area of focus. In November, IBM Security struck a deal to acquire AI-based endpoint security firm ReaQta, just two months after Akamai scooped up ransomware expert Guardicore. In September, Microsoft sought to strengthen its capabilities by investing in zero trust security firm Rubrik.

Moor Insights and Strategy founder and principal analyst Patrick Moorhead told Fierce “Google Cloud has always had a good reputation for security offerings inside of its own cloud. The Mandiant acquisition opens the aperture to any cloud or on-premises configuration.”

Roy Chua, of AvidThink, added the “bottom line is that this deal enhances Google Cloud’s security chops and helps them in competing against Microsoft, which is already a significant security player with strong market recognition.” He noted Mandiant is a high-profile get, given it was called in to help with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack last year and was the company which brought the SolarWinds security breach to the U.S. National Security Agency’s attention in 2020.

Chua warned the benefits of the Mandiant deal will “depend on Google’s ability to successfully integrate and retain the team, and execute on a strong product strategy,” noting the Google's Chronicle security telemetry platform encountered multiple challenges and “was not a success” despite a promising launch.

“Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia, his brand recognition and industry clout, and the Mandiant team could be what Google Cloud needs to be successful this time around,” Chua concluded.

The deal is expected to close later this year, after which Mandiant will join Google Cloud.