Orange Business Services has announced the acquisition of Atheos, becoming the largest European cyber-defence company and strengthening its position as a global player in advanced security services.

Mark McCallum, Johannesburg-based Orange Business Services head of Global Services Africa, comments: “Managed security is vital to the African and South African market where we have a strong focus on the financial services and Mining verticals.

“Perimeter defence, security and identity management play a pertinent role in our clients’ businesses. We have a number of key customers in Africa to whom we have provided security services, from dedicated stand alone to fully managed security perimeter protection, and we will undoubtedly be offering our local clients the benefits of Orange Cyberdefense going forward.”

Founded in 2002, Atheos is a pioneer of IT identity and security management in the French market. With 130 experts in cyber security, Atheos works with large French businesses to define, implement, and control their security strategies.

Orange Business Services, a global leader in corporate security services, has developed a comprehensive security strategy through managed and integrated security solutions in 220 countries and territories – protecting both infrastructure and users. Orange’s eight Security Operations Centres (SOC) around the world monitor these solutions 24/7.

Through the acquisition, Orange Business Services will significantly strengthen its offering by addressing two key requirements in the corporate environment:

* The provision of stronger access control and data-loss prevention policies; and

* Proactive cyber-defense through the advanced identification of security breaches and vulnerabilities, the detection and analysis of “low-noise” attack signals, and on-site crisis management.

The expertise of Atheos will combine with the existing competencies of Orange Business Services in security under a new common banner: Orange Cyberdefense.

“We have consistently recorded strong growth since our incorporation in 2002. By joining Orange Business Services, we will benefit from its unique expertise of critical infrastructure to take us to the next level. Orange Cyberdefense offers a credible response to the security requirements of large companies and government agencies,” says Michel Van Den Berghe, GM and founder of Atheos.

“We are very excited to welcome the teams from Atheos; their high level of expertise and proven methods clearly add value to our services portfolio. Security is a critical concern for our customers, which means that the provision of robust security services has now become a strategic priority for Orange Business Services.

“With this acquisition, we are now the only European provider able to support companies implementing multidimensional protection strategies, and this significantly reinforces our commitment to customers to support them, as a trusted partner, in an increasingly digital world,” adds Thierry Bonhomme, senior executive vice-president of Orange Business Services.

“In addition to Managed Security services, Orange Business Services also has a regionalised professional services organisation able to support and guide customers in the assessment, design, implementation and ongoing management of their enterprise security services.

“We have a number of high profile regionally based customers to whom we are providing these services and it is a strong growth area for the regional business,” adds McCallum.

Orange Business Services recently appointed Yannick Decaux as country manager for South Africa and sales director for sub-Saharan Africa. Decaux is based in Johannesburg and is charged with driving the next phase of the company’s growth strategy within the sub-Saharan region.