London: US cybersecurity giant NortonLifeLock will acquire Czech rival Avast for more than $8 billion to create a leading consumer business, the couple announced on Wednesday after the pandemic promoted online activities.
Norton CEO Vincent Pilette stated that the transaction amounted to more than 6.7 billion euros, “a big step towards consumer cybersecurity and will ultimately enable us to realize our vision, which is To protect and empower people to live a digital life safely” joint statement.
Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast, a London-listed company, said that the cooperation will allow “enhanced solutions and services, and capabilities” in the face of increasing global cyber threats.
The statement added that more than 500 million users will benefit from the new group’s security products.
Pilette will become the CEO of the enlarged group, and Vlcek will join NortonLifeLock as president and become a member of NortonLifeLock’s board of directors.
The combined company will be listed on the Nasdaq and will be headquartered in Prague and Tempe, Arizona.
Global companies are facing increasingly lucrative threats in the form of digital hostage hijacking or ransomware attacks, often seeing hackers encrypting victims’ data and then asking for money to restore access.
A large-scale ransomware attack on US technology company Kaseya in July affected pharmacies and gas station businesses in at least 17 countries.
Although the public knows very little about Kaseya, analysts say it is a mature target because its software is used by approximately 40,000 companies, and hackers can paralyze many companies with a single blow.
“At a time when global cyber threats continue to grow but cyber security penetration is still low, together with NortonLifeLock, we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing overall cyber protection to consumers around the world,” Vlcek added on Wednesday.
US cybersecurity officials announced last week that Amazon, Google and Microsoft have joined to help them fight ransomware and protect cloud computing systems from hacker attacks.
According to the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), these tech giants are among the companies that have signed up to become part of the Joint Cyber Defense Cooperation Organization, which aims to combine government and private skills and resources to combat hackers.