French telecommunications company Orange said its acquisition of UK-based cybersecurity service provider SecureData will reinforce its service delivery to the Africa market.
Orange announced the deal, for an undisclosed amount, last week. The company said the acquisition – and particularly SecureData's operations in South Africa – will strengthen its continental offering, supporting the company's already established Cyberdefense office in Morocco.
In November 2018 Orange launched the Cyberdefense operations centre in Casablanca, adding to its list of existing centres in Egypt and Mauritius in Africa, as well as in the US, Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore globally.
Announcing the latest acquisition, Orange described SecureData as "the largest independent cybersecurity service provider in the UK, the first market in Europe."
It added that the company has a 25-year track record of providing integrated cyber solutions designed to assess risks, detect threats, protect customer's IT assets and respond to security incidents.
"The company's elite consulting arm, SensePost, enjoys a worldwide reputation for its expertise in cyber-criminality, security research and penetration testing. The company recorded annual revenues of circa 50 million euros in 2018 and has enjoyed consistent growth rates of approx. 20% since 2016," stated Orange.
Axis of diversification
An Orange Business Services spokesperson said that cyber security is a major axis of diversification for the Orange Group, and while Europe remains a top priority, the plan is to expand to other Anglophone markets like South Africa.
The spokesperson stated: "...our strategy is to become the European leader by 2022. SecureData fits perfectly with our strategy for growth in several ways as it is the largest independent pure-player company in the UK, and the eighth largest in total. It also has a managed services model that is completely in line with the model of Orange Cyberdefense. Coupled with their quality technical platform, this will allow Orange CyberDefense to expand to other Anglophone markets such as South Africa. The complementarities and synergies between SecureData and Orange CyberDefense are technological, operational and commercial.
Orange added that while Europe is the number one priority in the cyber security strategy as it is the second largest market globally (US is number one with 45%, then Western Europe with 25% and Africa approximately 3% of the total market), it has a strong presence in Africa and continues to "opportunistically develop its activity", but as a second order priority.
The company's spokesperson said there are no current plans to change the status quo in terms of SecureData's operations in South Africa.
"We will make sure to maintain the corporate culture and the autonomy of SecureData while giving it the means to accelerate its development and to target more international business."
Hugues Foulon, Executive Director of Strategy and Cybersecurity activities at Orange, said, "Cybersecurity has become a critical element for both large and small companies as they evolve in an increasing digital-reliant world. We are convinced that the combined expertise of Orange Cyberdefense and SecureData will provide a powerful resource for our customers in ensuring the protection of their valuable data."
Ian Brown, Executive Chairman at SecureData commented "We are both thrilled and excited to be joining the Orange Cyberdefense family. Both organisations share the same vision and aspiration for the cybersecurity market, and have many complementary services and skills. By being part of Orange we will be able to better serve the international needs of many of our existing customers as well as providing enhanced cyber services to Orange customers with the UK".