PGP Corporation, the encryption specialist, has diversified into the world of digital certification, thanks to the acquisition of TC TrustCenter, the digital certification authority, for an undisclosed sum.
Announcing the acquisition this lunchtime, Rajiv Dholakia, PGP's vice president of corporate development and strategy, said he will head up the company, which has operations in Germany and California.
Although the price of the acquisition has not been revealed, Dholakia said that the deal will boost PGP's 2010 revenues by around 15%.
TC TrustCenter was founded by its current managing director Dr Sabine Kockskamper, who was previously a research specialist in artificial intelligence with the University of Hamburg.
The digital certificatation company was founded around ten years ago and has a strong presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, as well as a range of customers that include BMW and the Eon energy group.
Speaking on a webcast today, Dholakia said that trust has become a key ingredient of internet security and will significantly strengthen PGP's range of products it can offer its customers.
"Digital certification is an important part of the trust that is required on today's internet. It allows internet users to verify other users via a secure third party, in this case, TC TrustCenter", he said.
"Through the use of indirect trust technology, businesses and individuals can digitally sign their messages and documents, and propagate the key with third parties", he added.
(With this acquisition) we gain the ability to manage and secure identities across the entire security spectrum, from individuals all the way up to large enterprises, he went on to say, adding that security has now become policy-driven.
The acquisition will not result in any layoffs or closures. If anything, he said, it will result in an expansion of the two firms' security research facilities, building on TC TrustCenter's 50-odd staff in Hamburg and around seven people in Boston.
According to Dholakia, policy-driven security is central to PGP's encryption security strategy and PGP will take the products from TC TrustCenter and interoperate them with the firm's existing offerings.
Since PGP's products already issue digital certificates, he said that the acquisition makes for a good fit. In the longer term, the plan is to ensure the two firm's security technologies will interoperate and integrate automatically.
"Our goal in the longer-term is to leverage hybrid trust models, such as cloud-based security platforms. We believe that it will be important to support on-site and off-site (cloud) IT security standards", he said.
"The detail on the road map will be announced in the next few months, as the two companies' strategies become integrated. We envisage billions of new devices hooking up to the cloud, meaning that digital certificates will be central to PGP's security strategy", he added.