Broadcom Buys Symantec:
Good or Bad?

23 Sep 2019

Last month, it was announced that Broadcom have acquired Symantec’s enterprise business for $10.7 billion in cash. Symantec’s share price moved up as much as 5% (Broadcom’s moved up 1%) in after-hours trading and they (Symantec) said that they planned to return the proceeds of the deal to investors as a $12-per-share special dividend and they also intended to increase its dividend to 12.5c per share after the deal closes.

So, someone’s making a wheelbarrow full of money somewhere down the line, but what about the businesses that rely on Symantec’s network security, email security and cloud application security to keep them safe?

The industry are sceptical and Symantec’s client base are worried…


So What Is Broadcom Doing?


With a track record in buying tech companies, cutting costs and selling what’s left to their biggest clients (a Global 2000 customer base), Broadcom’s business model is focussed on what they call their ‘highest ROI’ products – endpoint security, web security and DLP, or data loss prevention. This in turn will lead to a massive drop in investment in network security, email security and cloud application security and $1bn worth of cuts to R&D (40%) and sales (82%).

This strategy has left thousands of Symantec’s existing customers with reduced (or no) support, end-of-life products, and legacy technology that will either be retired or will no longer receive investment to either R&D or support.

Ovum analyst Eric Parizo said that he was ‘greatly concerned’ about the future of Symantec’s enterprise security business, in part because ‘Broadcom hasn’t invested in – or made an effort to integrate – its current software portfolio.’


But Symantec Weren’t Helping Themselves


We’ve reported time and time again where the vast majority of data breaches come from. According to the most recent (November 2018) Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 96% come from email and, so writes cybersecurity strategist Ryan Kalember, ‘Symantec’s email gateways have lagged for years in their effectiveness against phishing, impostor, and malware attacks.’

And the news doesn’t get much better.

They were ‘significantly’ behind implementing URL sandboxing (the provision of real-time analysis of uncategorised URLs embedded in email security inbound mail), layered defences against impostor attacks, DMARC-based email authentication and other features that are considered by Gartner to protect the most critical threat vector.

And since Broadcom have said that they won’t invest anything into these areas, the gaps won’t close and Symantec’s customers (aside, it seems, from their top 2000 clients), will be at significant risk.

Kalember suggests that ‘The average security operations team spends more time on phishing attacks than anything else (45% in one recent survey from Anomali), and poor performance from an email gateway can make security teams’ lives miserable.’


So What’s The Solution For Those Who Aren’t A Top 2000 Business?


Mimecast to the rescue.

Last week Mimecast announced limited edition packaging and migration services for Symantec’s Email Security cloud (also known as MessageLabs) customers. To date, almost 4,000 customers have made the move.

In a press release sent out on September 16th from globenewswire, ‘As part of the packaging services, Mimecast is offering free email security risk assessments, so organisations can see first-hand limitations of their incumbent email security system. Mimecast customers can also benefit from a broader portfolio that is engineered to include superior threat detection, email archiving, mailbox continuity and web security all on a single cloud platform.’

A quote from TechValidate on the migration extols the benefits of switching to Mimecast: ‘it is a tried and trusted service which keeps improving to protect against the latest threats. We have tested other products … and Mimecast has always come up on top.’

Mimecast’s VP of Global Customer Success Neil Senior took a veiled swipe at Broadcom’s acquisition of Symantec, saying that ‘We’re ready to talk to customers who are concerned about the impact of their email security provider announcing $1B+ cuts in expenses including research and development, sales and support. Our goal is to provide our Legendary Customer Success® approach from initial migration to completed implementation.’

The limited edition packaging and migration services last until 30th November 2019 and for:

  • Organisations with 500+ seats, you get 18 months for the price of 12
  • Organisations with less than 500 seats you get 15 months for the price of 12


What Do You Get For Your Money If You Transfer To Mimecast?


Simply put, a lot, including this list:

  • Static file analysis designed to offer superior malware detection with Mimecast’s Targeted Threat Protection
  • Mimecast Internal Email Protect engineered to detect and remediate threats generated from inside the organisation
  • Safe file conversion designed to neutralise potentially malicious attachments, making them read-only with no delivery delay
  • Mimecast URL Protect built to automatically provide integrated, context-aware security awareness information to users
  • Mimecast Security Awareness Training designed to address the nagging problem of human error in security breaches by educating employees about security best practices using highly engaging and effective video-based training modules.
  • Automated threat remediation helping to enable administrators to remove unwanted or malicious emails no matter how old they are from Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange

So you have a choice if you’re not a top tier company. Stay with Symantec (or Broadcom) and you get nowt, or switch to Mimecast and you get it all.

We know what we’d choose if we were you and did we mention that we were voted Mimecast Customer Excellence Partner of the Year for the second year in a row?

There’s a very good reason for that.

Contact us today on or call 020 7078 0789 and we’ll talk cloud security, how to prevent data breaches, cutting-edge IT solutions or what’s better, Starbucks, Costa, Nero or good old store-bought ground coffee…


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