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F-Secure splits in two as WithSecure launches

The Finnish security vendor's enterprise business sets off on its own as a new brand called WithSecure, while F-Secure will continue to operate the consumer side of the business.

Cybersecurity vendor F-Secure spun off its enterprise security branch into a new company called WithSecure.

The spinoff brand, which the vendor announced Tuesday, will operate all of F-Secure's business-focused services and products, including endpoint protection, managed detection and response, and consulting services. Meanwhile, F-Secure will maintain its name and concentrate solely on the consumer security markets, such as VPNs and identity protection.

F-Secure CEO and president Juhani Hintikka will take the same title at WithSecure. According to Hintikka, the new company will look to pair up its security tools with its experts and consultants to focus on a sales pitch that is personalized for customers.

"We have been thinking about the complex cybersecurity challenges facing businesses, and we have been also thinking about what kind of cybersecurity company we think we need to be," Hintikka said during a virtual press conference.

"Great technology cannot exist without great people," he added.

Among those who will be joining Hintikka under the WithSecure banner are chief technology officer Christine Bejerasco and chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen.

An accomplished researcher in his own right, Hyppönen painted a picture of an approach where the consulting and analysis elements of WithSecure helped companies make better use of their technology to analyze and secure networks.

Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer, WithSecureMikko Hyppönen

"Traditional endpoint security and protecting against malicious programs is still important," Hyppönen said during the press event. "But more important is visibility into your systems, because the age-old idea of a safe and secure internal network and the badness of the external network is all wrong."

Both companies will maintain their current base of operations in Helsinki. F-Secure does not expect the split to cause any disruptions to either business's operations.

In discussing the split, F-Secure founder Risto Siilasmaa noted that as attacker technologies and cybercriminal techniques have evolved over recent years, the security needs of enterprises and consumer end users have started to drift further apart, making a single-company approach impractical.

"With the evolving threat landscape, a common ground for the consumer and B2B landscape has become increasingly small," Siilasmaa said. "We are convinced our consumer and B2B customers are better served by two companies."

There might also be a financial motivation for the breakup. Last year, F-Secure's business line pulled in revenues of 120.1 million euros ($132.5 million), outpacing the consumer side's 100.1 million euros ($110.4 million) haul. By shedding the weight of the consumer portion of the business, WithSecure could make itself more attractive to investors.

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