Orange boosts African security service with SecureData buy

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Orange will look to leverage SA operations to boost its security service in Africa.
Orange will look to leverage SA operations to boost its security service in Africa.

French telecommunications company Orange said its acquisition of UK-based cyber security service provider SecureData will reinforce its service delivery in the Africa market.

Orange announced the deal, for an undisclosed amount, last week.

The company noted 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 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 cyber security service provider in the UK, the first market in Europe".

It added the company has a 25-year track record of providing integrated cyber solutions designed to assess risks, detect threats, protect customers' 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 revenue of circa EUR50 million in 2018 and has enjoyed consistent growth rates of approximately 20% since 2016," stated Orange.

Priority growth

An Orange Business Services spokesperson said 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.

"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," stated the spokesperson.

"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 cyber security strategy as it is the second largest market globally (US is number one with 45%, then Western Europe with 25% and Africa with 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 autonomy of SecureData while giving it the means to accelerate its development and target more international business."

Hugues Foulon, executive director of strategy and cyber security activities at Orange, said: "Cyber security has become a critical element for both large and small companies as they evolve in an increasing digital-reliant world. We are convinced 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 cyber security 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 provide enhanced cyber services to Orange customers within the UK."

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