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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Google now owns the company that discovered the SolarWinds hack

Artwork by Alex Castro/MastStatus

Google has completed its acquisition of Mandiant, bringing a big name in cybersecurity under the tech giant’s ever-growing umbrella.

The $5.4 billion acquisition, announced in March, was completed on Monday, according to a Google press release. According to the release details, Mandiant will retain its own brand while operating under the Google Cloud branch of its new parent company. Google Cloud is the cloud computing platform offered by Google and provides cloud computing and data storage infrastructure for other companies to build products on top of it.

Mandiant is best known for uncovering the SolarWinds hack, a massive Russia-related breach that compromised US government agencies including the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, and Commerce.

In a blog post, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian highlighted Mandiant’s expertise in threat intelligence and said that Google intends to combine this with its huge data processing capabilities and machine learning to protect customers from cyber threats.

“Our goal is to democratize security operations with access to best-in-class threat intelligence and integrated threat detection and response,” Kurian wrote. “Ultimately, we hope to move the industry towards a more proactive approach focused on modernizing security operations workflows, personnel and underlying technologies to achieve a self-sustaining state of existence – where Threat management capabilities can evolve as customer needs change and threats evolve. ”

Google already has significant threat intelligence capabilities, perhaps the most well-known of these being the Threat Analysis Group (TAG) – a team that tracks and thwarts state-sponsored hacking attempts. But the acquisition of Mandiant will add hundreds of additional expert threat analysts to Google’s ranks, bringing even more security skills to bolster Google’s cloud offerings.

Microsoft was also rumored to be considering an acquisition deal to buy Mandiant earlier this year, but was beaten to the punch by Google, a sign of the growing importance of the cloud security market.

Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant, wrote in a blog post that in a threat landscape where “criminals, nation states, and simple malicious actors hurt the right people”, the acquisition would improve the ability to his company’s response.

“By combining our expertise and intelligence with the scale and resources of Google Cloud, we can make a much bigger difference in preventing and countering cyberattacks, while identifying new ways to hold adversaries accountable,” Mandia said.

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