Apple Buying Mobile Security Company AuthenTec for $365M

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Apple has struck a deal to buy AuthenTec for US$365 million. The company makes security and fingerprint recognition chips along with software for mobile devices, and counts Samsung among the manufacturers that use its technology.

Apple will be paying $8 a share, according to Reuters, which translates to about a 58 percent premium over the company’s stock value.

Apple buying AutheTec for $365 millionApple buying AutheTec for $365 million

Samsung struck a deal to use AuthenTec’s technology earlier in July, according to TechCrunch. The company plans to use AuthenTec’s VPN software to boost interest for its smartphones in the enterprise market as more employees join the growing trend of bringing their own phones into the workplace.

Just how Apple plans to use AuthenTec’s technology isn’t clear yet. In fact, the deal wasn’t even officially announced, and instead was revealed as part of an AuthenTec filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple will likely use the purchase to bring new security features to the iPhone and iPad, and this could be a precursor to NFC (Near Field Communication) tech finally coming to iOS, too, since that’s another area AuthenTec covers.

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Now, this will prove interesting. Passport plus touch authentication could be very useful.

Tech Marketer

Well, looking at the security issues raised in the last few months, this move from Apple was much needed. April 2012 was a busy month for Apple malware hunters fighting the Flashback Trojan horse, which has infected between 270,000 and 600,000 Macs. And now they have this recent rumors of Malware and virus attacks for this new Mac OS X 10.8 (aka. Mountain Lion).

I personally like Apple OS and products, but when looking at the security issues I think that Apple really needs to look to Microsoft when it comes to handling OS security breaches. There is no disputing that Microsoft, having the dominant OS, faces far more security threats than Apple does. But Microsoft does a better job of warning customers and delivering fixes.

Therefore, acquiring a proper security firm like AuthenTech, is a great decision that Apple has made. In my opinion, Apple should also consider educating it users about any suspected risks that they may face, since this is one of the most important things Apple can do, the same way you teach your kid to cross at the green light.

I wish Apple all the very best for this new acquisition.

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