beTrusted acquires 90East

Only months after acquiring SecureNet Ltd, beTrusted has made a play for 90East, Australia's only remaining IT security provider to the Federal Government.

The move consolidates local IT security services under beTrusted. The company did not disclose details of the acquisition which is subject to shareholder approval.

Only last year 90East, which was established in 1998 to provide managed network security to Commonwealth department and agencies, acquired Peakhour.

At about the same time SecureNet acquired Baltimore Australia reducing the number of players in the local market, which reflected the increasingly tough economic climate.

90East CEO David Yuile said the acquisition allows it to become part of a global security company with a broader range of services making it the best outcome for customers.

"We recognised that for service providers like 90East, being part of the global marketplace was really the way of the future. Consolidating our business with beTrusted’s will boost services to customers and accelerate growth for the combined company," Yuile said.

beTrusted Asia Pacific CEO Paul O'Rourke said 90East is a good fit for beTrusted's security portfolio bringing strength and stability to the Australian market.

Formerly a PricewaterhouseCoopers spinoff, beTrusted was acquired by US-based Bank One Corporation in January 2003.

As Amercia's sixth largest bank beTrusted has the backing it requires to expand its global managed security operations.

The latest announcement gives beTrusted total dominance in the local IT security market providing services to the Federal Government.

O'Rourke said the company now has an unparalleled pool of knowledge in high level security to government, financial institutions, e-commerce providers and corporate customers.

The only remaining local outfit still operating in Australia is esec now known as the ASG Group following a merger with the Perth-based outsourcing provider in June this year.

The newly formed company, which has a client list that includes one of the big four banks, has consolidated its managed security services as part of a more comprehensive outsourced infrastructure offering.

ASG Group chief solutions officer Steve Tull said the company is a local alternative to the likes of beTrusted for clients who require managed security services that encapsulate other infrastructure elements such as server, database and network security.

"Security isn't a stand-alone item, there has to be a broader infrastructure approach to securing the enterprise," he said.

"Companies like 90East have always been very niche market players unlike vendors such as HP, IBM and ourselves who have a much broader capability.

"Here we see another local company going to a multi-national this not only limits choice for clients but undermines the development of a strong local IT security services market, we are now one of a remaining few still operating independently in Australia."

Gartner Australia security analyst Steve Bittinger said the acquisition is a reflection of the global market which is undergoing rapid consolidation adding that it has certainly given beTrusted a strong local footprint in the IT security space.

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