Another Billion-Ish Buyout: IBM Buys Israeli Security Firm Trusteer
Just months after a jumbo buyout of an Israeli start-up by a tech giant, IBM is acquiring Israel-based Trusteer, a maker of security software to protect data from phishing and other malware attacks, in a deal rumored to be worth between $800 million and a cool billion.
Now in the IBM orbit, Trusteer, with R&D in Israel and an office in Boston, will become the nucleus of a new IBM cyber-security research center that the multinational plans to establish here.
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Trusteer was established in 2006 and has about 300 employees, and is one of the largest security firms working in the online banking space. Among its customers are institutions like Bank of America, Société Générale, INGDirect, HSBC, NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and more.
The company’s Rapport software prevents malefactors from taking over bank accounts and stealing information. It casts a wide net to detect malware threats and ensure that they are banned from client systems, and by enhancing identification of users interacting with a website using advanced device “fingerprinting,” which evaluates tens of thousands of small details to determine whether a device or user making a request for information is legit or phony.
These are areas that have long interested IBM, which has a very active presence in Israel with five large R&D facilities here, employing over 1,000 people.