Akamai to buy Prolexic to extend its Web security offerings


Cambridge Internet company Akamai Technologies Inc. said it has agreed to buy Prolexic, a Florida-based provider of cloud-based security solutions for protecting data centers and enterprise IP applications from distributed denial of service attacks. 

In a Monday press release, Akamai said that it will acquire all of the outstanding equity of Prolexic in exchange for a net cash payment of about $370 million, after expected purchase price adjustments, plus the assumption of outstanding unvested options to purchase Prolexic stock.  The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first half of 2014.

According to Akamai, the proposed transaction will enable it to offer its customers “a comprehensive portfolio of security solutions designed to defend an enterprise’s Web and IP infrastructure against application-layer, network-layer and data center attacks delivered via the Internet.”

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Akamai chief executive Tom Leighton added in a statement:  “Any company doing business on the Internet faces an evolving threat landscape of attacks aimed at disrupting operations, defacing the brand, or attempting to steal sensitive data and information.  By joining forces with Prolexic, we intend to combine Akamai’s leading security and performance platform with Prolexic’s highly-regarded DDoS mitigation solutions for data center and enterprise applications protection.  We believe that Prolexic’s solutions and team will help us achieve our goal of making the Internet fast, reliable, and secure.”

Akamai is the leading provider of Internet content delivery services, which enable large companies to rapidly deliver vast amounts of digital data without overloading their own computers and networks, a Globe story from late 2012 noted. Instead, hundreds of companies and government agencies hire Akamai, which moves the data over its own worldwide server network. As of a year ago, Akamai estimated that its network handles up to 30 percent of all data moving on the Internet.

Akamai already offers services to protect Web-based businesses against DDoS (distributed denial of service )attacks. But Leighton said Prolexic focuses on protecting all manner of enterprise computing systems, such as corporate data centers.

“Prolexic offers a very complementary capability,” Leighton said. “Our plan is to incorporate their products into our portfolio.”

“”Prolexic is probably the largest of the big DDoS service providers,” said Christian A. Christiansen, vice president of security products and services at IDC Corp. in Framingham.

Christiansen said that the Prolexic deal will help Akamai market its data security offerings to companies that aren’t already using Akamai’s data delivery services.

“They’re looking to expand their growth in the security area.,” said Christiansen. “This does enlarge the market they can appeal to.”