Google is to buy US cyber security company Mandiant for $5.4bn as it looks to bolster its cloud computing business, making it the tech giant’s second-largest ever acquisition.
The search company on Tuesday said it would purchase Mandiant for $23.00 per share, in an all-cash deal.
It comes as Google looks to boost its cloud computing business, Google Cloud, in an attempt to take on rivals such as Microsoft, which offers cyber security products through its Azure cloud platform.
The cyber security company will become part of Google’s $19bn cloud business after the deal is completed.
Mandiant, which had been acquired by US cyber security group FireEye in 2013, became a standalone publicly traded company again last year when it sold its products business and the FireEye name for $1.2bn to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group.
In 2020, chief executive Kevin Mandia was responsible for revealing the SolarWinds hack, one of the most sophisticated cyber espionage campaigns in recent years.
Google on Tuesday said companies were facing cyber security challenges that had accelerated in frequency, severity and diversity.
“Organisations around the world are facing unprecedented cyber security challenges as the sophistication and severity of attacks that were previously used to target major governments are now being used to target companies in every industry,” said Thomas Kurian, chief executive officer of Google Cloud.
It comes after other technology groups made similar moves to boost their cyber offerings. Microsoft last year acquired smaller cyber security companies, including RiskIQ and ReFirm Labs.
“There has never been a more critical time in cyber security. Since our founding in 2004, Mandiant’s mission has been to combat cyber attacks and protect our customers from the latest threats,” said Mandia.
Google already offers cyber security services to customers of its Cloud software including Chronicle, which offers security analytics and automation, and Security Command Center to help groups detect and protect themselves from cyber threats.
Mandiant’s shares closed up 16 per cent on the Nasdaq on Monday after reports of the deal were published.