By Jarrett Streebin
McAfee (MFE) recently made its second purchase this year in the mobile security field, picking up tenCube. The Singapore-based startup’s applications provide backup and restore for select data, device tracking, as well as remote lock and wipe for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones. Combined with McAfee’s recent acquisition of Trust Digital, recently disclosed in an SEC filing as a $33m purchase, the two deals help provide the largest stand-alone security company with the ability to secure and manage both consumer and enterprise smartphones.
Although mobile hacking is increasing, the several levels of control present in the devices and networks have prevented a major outbreak of malware infections. But due to the rapid expansion of mobile traffic, as well as the amount of sensitive information stored on and sent by these devices, the likelihood of such attacks is increasing. McAfee is well aware of these threats and has been expanding its offerings since its purchase of SafeBoot in 2007. Then, in May it purchased Santa Clara-based startup Trust Digital, providing McAfee with a robust set of Enterprise Mobility Management tools to help manage smartphones on employer networks. Now with tenCube, McAfee adds WaveSecure, the leading device security application for Android phones. WaveSecure is also offered on most other mobile operating systems, providing McAfee with a complete suite to sell to carriers and OEMs.
To say that mobile security has been a hot space recently would be an understatement. TenCube was the most recent of seven acquisitions this year – up from zero in all of last year and only one the year before. Although McAfee gets one of the best device security application makers with tenCube, there are still others left on the market. It’s likely that we’ll see tenCube’s competitors SmrtGuard and Lookout Inc, as well as other mobile device management players like Conceivium, BoxTone, MobileIron and Zenprise, attract M&A attention in the future as more players look to enter the mobile market or strengthen current offerings.