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Entrust acquires Business Signatures for $50M

Acquisition to become new division of Entrust called Entrust Business Signatures

By Ellen Messmer
July 20, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Network World - Entrust Inc. announced today it has acquired Business Signatures Corp., the privately held Redwood City, Calif., vendor of the eFraud Detector fraud-detection software used primarily in online banking, for $50 million in cash.

Business Signatures, which has 40 employees, will operate as a division of Entrust called Entrust Business Signatures, according to Chris Voice, chief technology officer at the acquiring company.

Entrust has no immediate plans to alter product names, including eFraud Detector. In addition, Business Signatures President and CEO Peter Relan, who co-founded the company in 2001, is expected to head up the new division.

"They're doing well there, and we don't want to shake things up," said Voice.

Voice said eFraud Detector works by "passively monitoring network traffic, and based on behavior it observes, determines whether there's suspicious activity." He said Business Signatures has about 20 customers today, including Citibank North America and H&R Block.

Dallas-based Entrust provides public-key information products and the IdentityGuard multifactor authentication platform. Entrust's main competitor is RSA Security, which late last year acquired the fraud-detection company Cyota.

Voice said Entrust believes eFraud Detector, typically used in Web banking, is less cumbersome to install than the Cyota approach, offering easier integration for the financial services firms that are the main purchasers.

In its earning statement Thursday, Entrust announced second-quarter revenues of $22.1 million, up 5% from the previous quarter but down from the $24.8 million recorded in the second quarter of 2005. Entrust said it posted a net loss in the second quarter of $1.3 million, compared with a net loss of $9.2 million in the first quarter this year.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2012 Network World, Inc. All rights reserved.
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