BT buys Counterpane

Bruce Schneier to stay on as CTO and will keep blogging

BT Group PLC has acquired managed security services vendor Counterpane Internet Security Inc.

Counterpane, in Mountain View, Calif., will operate as an independent division of the communication giant's Global Services group. Terms of the deal, which closed Tuesday, were not disclosed, but BT spokeswoman Eileen Connolly said that the price was in the "tens of millions of dollars."

With a staff of just 75, Counterpane monitors and manages the security of about 550 corporate networks worldwide. Over the past year, there has been a raft of consolidation in this market, as larger companies have picked up smaller companies such as Counterpane to boost the technical expertise within their own services practices.

Last Friday, IBM completed its $1.3 billion acquisition of one of the best-known managed services companies, Atlanta's Internet Security Systems Inc.

Counterpane's founder and chief technology officer, Bruce Schneier, said he was "thrilled" with the acquisition. "This is something I've been working on for about a year," he said in a blog posting.

Schneier, a widely read commentator on security practices, will stay on as CTO for the Counterpane unit. He does not expect to tone down his commentary or stop blogging now that he is part of a large multinational company. "They know I am an independent security commentator," he wrote. "They're not looking for me to become a corporate shill."

Counterpane's Paul Stich will remain the unit's chief executive officer.

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