GeoTrust, the "medium cost" SSL provider will be sold by VeriSign to Symantec. Symantec, founded by Peter Norton, used to be a cool compnay with great products. Now, it's just...a company. I don't think this change will matter much in the long run. Symantec gets their share of negative press, but SSL is a mature technology - hard to screw it up. An SSL certificate is more of a marketing exercise than a technical exercise at this point. In their announcement, Symantec makes an amusingly hopeful statement: "we have heard repeatedly from you, our customers, of your interest in having our offerings integrated into a larger ervices suite."
I wonder why Symantec even bothered to buy GeoTrust. They have their own security brand, why not just roll out their own shield and save themselves the trouble. If their stated goal is to offer their customers one more product, I don't see the need to buy another brand.
Here is the text of their announcement:
Dear GeoTrust Customer,
I am writing to inform you that VeriSign, GeoTrust’s parent company, has signed a definitive agreement to
sell our Authentication Services business to Symantec, a premier end-to-end Internet security provider
with extensive distribution, broad product offerings and integrated service delivery. Upon closing of the
transaction, GeoTrust and its retail and enterprise offerings will become part of the Security and
Compliance Group at Symantec. Certain Authentication related brands and trademarks, such as the
GeoTrust seal, will be included in the transfer to Symantec.
In the last few years, the industry has seen consolidation in the security market, and we have heard
repeatedly from you, our customers, of your interest in having our offerings integrated into a larger
services suite. The combination of GeoTrust’s SSL product lines with Symantec’s broad portfolio of
information security solutions delivers on this request. You will now be able to authenticate your
business, secure your website and transactions, safeguard your corporate network, and protect employee
accounts and devices with a suite of products from a single company.
Over the years you have supported us with your business and helped guide us on our product
development and company strategy. It is because of this that GeoTrust and parent company VeriSign
have category-leading products and is a brand synonymous with trust on the Internet. I’d like to
emphasize that we plan to continue this effort during the transition period and onward. Additionally, you
can expect the following from us going forward:
- Continued product support and service. All GeoTrust product and support contract obligations will
be upheld. Nothing changes here. All support procedures, announced support timelines, and contacts
remain unchanged, so please continue to use the same account management, sales, product,
business and customer support channels you've been using.
- Continued access to personnel and management. To help ensure a quick and seamless
integration in conjunction with uninterrupted continuity of your services, Authentication Business leads
Atri Chatterjee and Fran Rosch will remain with the business along with most of the Authentication
Service employees. Additionally, your GeoTrust points of contact will remain the same throughout
the closing process, which we anticipate will be within 60 to 90 days. Any changes after that will be
announced well in advance ensuring that the transition is smooth.
- Improved technology and product synergies. We expect customers will benefit from the broader,
complementary product offerings brought by VeriSign and its brands with Symantec: from leveraging
Symantec’s security research and analysis technology to including strong authentication as a core
component of data leak prevention.
We are dedicated to bringing world class services to our world class customers. Please do not hesitate to
reach out to your local point of contact if you have any questions or concerns.