Symantec reached an agreement with DigiCert Inc. Wednesday to sell Symantec's website security and PKI solutions for $950 million in addition to a 30% stake in DigiCert’s business, according to an announcement. The deal also includes the sale of related Symantec PKI solutions.
By offloading its website security and certificate business, Symantec said it will have the ability to focus on its enterprise security business and cyber defense platform.
The transaction was unanimously approved by the Symantec Board of Directors and is expected to be completed by Q3 of fiscal 2018.
Though Symantec says the sale allows it to focus more on enterprise security, the deal rids Symantec of its troubled web certificate business. Rumors of a potential sale first surfaced in July, shortly after the company made two acquisitions — Skycure, a company that focuses on mobile threat defense, and browser isolation company Fireglass. Both acquisitions focused more on enterprise security, where Symantec said it wants to focus.
The web certificate business had become a blight on Symantec's security reputation after Google said the company had failed to properly validate at least 30,000 Secure Socket Layer (SSL) /Transport Security Layer (TLS) digital certificate over the last several years. In response, Google planned to gradually remove trust in older SSL certificate from Symantec.
By selling its web certificate business, Symantec is making it clear that it is moving away from general security solutions into a more specialized environment that is lucrative for it to continue to compete in the changing market. Emerging vendors take a specialized approach to security, leaving established security vendors no choice but to downsize and streamline offerings to remain competitive.