Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


08:00 AM

Entrust Bags Business Signatures

Security vendor gets anti-fraud gear and new inroads to financial services market

Authentication specialist Entrust today bought privately held anti-fraud specialist Business Signatures for $50 million in cash, as it looks to boost its data security story.

Business Signatures is a competitor to Cyota, which will soon be part of the EMC portfolio, thanks to its recent $2.1 billion acquisition of RSA. (See EMC Buys RSA, Users Welcome Super-Deal, RSA Ramps Up Revenues , and Did EMC Overpay?.) Cyota, which was bought by RSA back in December, has already been identified as a potential jewel in the crown for EMC, offering the storage vendor a clear path to lucrative deals in the financial sector. (See RSA to Acquire Cyota, EMC Secures RSA for $2.1B, RSA IDs Phishing Technique, and RSA Reports on Fraud.)

"Customers have immediate security requirements that over time will spread across multiple applications and storage devices," said Bill Conner, Entrust CEO, speaking on a conference call this morning. "Sensitive data does not reside in one place, it is fluid and is used across the organization," he added.

Business Signatures' flagship software eFraud monitors firms' customer transactions. The product works by converting HTTP data streams generated by a transactional Website into what it describes as "business signatures." These could be, for example, identifying which individual customers are setting up fund transfers on a financial firm's Website.

Over the next six months, Entrust will integrate Business Signatures' technology with its own IdentityGuard authentication software, although Chris Voice, Entrust's CTO, told Dark Reading that this is just the first step in a broader data security push.

As well as authentication, Entrust offers a family of software products which aim to lock down data as it moves across a network from, for example, file systems and email servers. "We have an information platform that's about keeping data encrypted," he explained.

Sometime in 2007, according to the exec, Entrust will look to integrate eFraud with this technology, adding an additional layer of internal security. "One of the strengths of eFraud is that it can passively detect what is happening on the wire," he said. "There's no reason why that could not be applied to your internal networks."

The exec added that the combined offering could be used, for example, to monitor data going to and coming from a database. But Voice said that Entrust is not setting itself up as a direct competitor to encryption specialists such as Decru and Neoscale. (See Decru Unveils New Gear, NeoScale Intros Encryption Suite, and NeoScale Claims Speedy Encryption.)

"What we have found is that there is enough encryption technology coming from the storage and the database vendors," he said, adding that Entrust will remain focused on data as it moves across an organization.

Certainly, more and more vendors are touting encryption, particularly at the file level, as a way to avoid embarrassing and potentially costly data breaches. (See File Security Gets All Cryptic, Decru Picks Key Partners, and New PGP Extends Encryption.)

Voice also confirmed that Business Signatures CEO Peter Relan and the firm's 40-strong workforce will be moving over to Entrust. The Dallas-based firm will also keep Business Signatures' site in Redwood City, Calif.

Just as Cyota represents an opening into the lucrative financial market for EMC, Entrust already sees Business Signatures in terms of dollar signs. Execs on this morning's call said that they expect the new acquisition to deliver up to $4 million in revenue over the remainder of this year, and around $10 million over the next 12 months.

This performance could prove critical for Entrust, which also released its second quarter financial results today, posting revenues of $22.1 million, down from $24.8 million in the same period last year, and just below analyst estimates of $22.61 million. (See Entrust Announces Q2.)

The vendor also recorded a second quarter net loss of $1.3 million, or 2 cents per share, compared to net income of $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, in the year ago quarter. This was also below analyst estimates.

In trading today, shares of Entrust dropped 21 cents (6.77 percent) to $2.89.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Decru Inc.
  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)
  • Entrust Inc.
  • NeoScale Systems Inc.
  • RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: EMC)


    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 7/9/2020
    Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
    Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
    4 Security Tips as the July 15 Tax-Day Extension Draws Near
    Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  7/10/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
    Django Two-Factor Authentication before 1.12, stores the user's password in clear text in the user session (base64-encoded). The password is stored in the session when the user submits their username and password, and is removed once they complete authentication by entering a two-factor authenticati...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
    In Bareos Director less than or equal to 16.2.10, 17.2.9, 18.2.8, and 19.2.7, a heap overflow allows a malicious client to corrupt the director's memory via oversized digest strings sent during initialization of a verify job. Disabling verify jobs mitigates the problem. This issue is also patched in...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
    Bareos before version 19.2.8 and earlier allows a malicious client to communicate with the director without knowledge of the shared secret if the director allows client initiated connection and connects to the client itself. The malicious client can replay the Bareos director's cram-md5 challenge to...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
    osquery before version 4.4.0 enables a priviledge escalation vulnerability. If a Window system is configured with a PATH that contains a user-writable directory then a local user may write a zlib1.dll DLL, which osquery will attempt to load. Since osquery runs with elevated privileges this enables l...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
    An exploitable SQL injection vulnerability exists in the Admin Reports functionality of Glacies IceHRM v26.6.0.OS (Commit bb274de1751ffb9d09482fd2538f9950a94c510a) . A specially crafted HTTP request can cause SQL injection. An attacker can make an authenticated HTTP request to trigger this vulnerabi...