Arik Hesseldahl

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Dell Acquires SecureWorks, Embraces Security-as-Service

Dell is starting the year off with another acquisition. This morning it announced plans to acquire SecureWorks, an 11-year old Atlanta-based security outfit that specializes in managed security services, security and risk consulting, and threat intelligence.

SecureWorks, which is privately held, says it has about 2,900 customers in 70 countries, and that its customers include 15 percent of the Fortune 500, as well as 1,500 banks and credit unions, though typical of a security company, it doesn’t name any of them. In 2009 it acquired the managed security business of VeriSign. It has about 700 employees and projected revenue of about $120 million.

It’s also known for its top-flight malware research team. Last year it was involved in the research and response around a banking Trojan called Origami, which originated in Russia and was designed to steal sign-in credentials.

Dell says the deal will expand its IT-as-service offerings. It also looks to be, at least in part, a reaction to Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of security firm ArcSight in October. No financial terms are being disclosed, but Dell had been involved in a reselling partnership with SecureWorks since July of last year. It’s also Dell’s second acquisition in as many months. On Dec. 13 it spent $820 million for the health IT company Compellent.