The reported increase in online hacker attacks is dramatically shifting the focus of business deals on the Internet, driving top Web security firms into the top list of attractive takeover targets.
Reuters reported Wednesday that online analysts are spotlighting current topflight Internet security companies as prime targets for acquisitions and mergers, placing the Web watchdog firms on the level with the big communications enterprises and computer manufacturers and developers as good investment destinations.
Reuters quoted Frost and Sullivan Internet analysts as declaring that the proliferation of Internet firms specializing in Web security and protection has made that market niche ripe for takeover or merger moves from bigger Internet operators if their business strategies do not grow strong fast.
Frost and Sullivan analyst Ben Ramirez told Reuters that Internet companies with high capital resources and high market share are likely to gobble up lucrative security firms that are still fighting for its share of the market and have not attained a stable level of product and service diversification.
Citing examples, Ramirez said the giant computer maker Dell Inc. recently purchased data and security products maker SonicWALL, Juniper Networks bought privately held Mykonos Software for $80 million last month, while Intel has just finalized its outright purchase of McAfee for $7.7 billion.
The analysts named three fast-moving security and data protection companies as the next probable takeover targets, namely Fortiner, which specializes in the production of network security appliances, F5 Networks, which is a maker of security software, and data security company Imperva Inc.
The relatively young and struggling online security firms moved to the forefront of investor interest following the upsurge in the need for more powerful internet protection and security tools that would defeat the increasingly more sophisticated Internet hacker attacks spearheaded by the notoriously effective Anonymous hacker group since the start of the year.