Accenture announced today that it has agreed to acquire Symantec's Cyber Security Services (CSS) business from Broadcom. This is big news for both Accenture and Symantec.
According to the announcement, Symantec’s CSS business includes global threat monitoring and analysis through a network of security operation centers (SOCs), real-time adversary and industry-specific threat intelligence, and incident response (IR) services. The six SOCs are located in the US, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. Its managed security services (MSS) business is supported by a proprietary cloud-based platform that delivers a steady stream of technical and cyber adversary threat intelligence through a customizable portal.
What does this mean for the two companies? The net-net is that Accenture immediately extends its already robust global cybersecurity services capabilities with six additional SOCs, 300 employees, and Symantec's platform. Symantec's well-crafted services find a good home. This may sound corny, but I honestly believe this. I have watched Accenture build its cyber services for seven years through multiple acquisitions and the opening of regional fusion centers. I have similarly been privy to Symantec's build-out of MSS and IR services as well as threat intelligence, threat hunting, and incident readiness services. Both have done a good job and it would be a shame to see Symantec's capabilities languish on Broadcom's shelf.
Naturally, as with any acquisition, the proof is in the pudding. It is imperative that Accenture integrate its new capabilities rapidly. This will require effective engineering at scale, which not all companies can muster in short order. I have faith that Accenture knows how to blend disparate platforms, service offerings, and cultural aspects of acquisitions as I've seen them do this many times over the last several years. Additionally, Accenture must communicate often and consistently with both Accenture and Symantec customers to assuage concerns either may have about this merger. Finally, Accenture must do everything in its purview to stem possible attrition of its newly adopted cybersecurity employees. This will range from consistent communication and educating employees on Accenture's culture to perhaps even creating a buddy system to help ex-Symantec folks navigate their new position, office, and environment. Both the integration and communication should begin as quickly as possible after the acquisition closes.
Hats off to the Accenture team for seizing the opportunity to expand its cybersecurity services with just the right additions from Symantec's CSS: platform, people, and global SOCs. Congratulations to the Symantec team as they cross the chasm to work with a world-class cyber organization.