Sectigo, a foremost provider of automated digital identity management and web security solutions, has acquired SSL247, the biggest SSL certificate and web security provider in the UK and France, and Xolphin, the largest provider of SSL certificates and digital signatures in the Netherlands. With the two acquisitions, Sectigo significantly extends its sales reach and support for the company's leading SSL certificate solutions, Sectigo Web Security Platform and Sectigo Certificate Manager platform, to thousands of additional organizations across Europe and Latin America. Accelerate growth The acquisitions accelerate Sectigo's growth trajectory globally following the company’s recent recapitalization by GI Partners, a leading private investment firm. “Acquiring SSL247 and Xolphin is an early milestone in Sectigo’s next chapter of growth, expanding our reach across Europe and Latin America,” said Bill Holtz, CEO, Sectigo. “Sectigo has partnered with SSL247 and Xolphin for many years. Both organizations are known for rapid and reliable SSL certificate delivery and world-class expertise and support. We proudly welcome them to Sectigo.” About SSL247 A long-time Sectigo channel partner, SSL247 has nearly two decades of experience selling and supporting SSL certificates, vulnerability assessments, digital IDs (email, code signing, IoT certificates), penetration tests and audits, data protection, and other security solutions to customers across 18 countries in Europe and Latin America. As digital security experts, SSL247 is driven to help secure the value of businesses online and offline, through a range of specifically tailored services. Joining the global Sectigo organization will enable our team to offer a broader set of resources and solutions to our more than 10,000 satisfied clients, spanning micro businesses to large enterprises, said Benjamin Tack, Commercial Director at SSL247. About Xolphin Recognised with a five-star rating for its customer support and rapid EV certificate validation Founded in 2002, Xolphin has issued more than a million certificates to more than 50,000 customers in Europe. Recognised with a five-star rating for its customer support and rapid Extended Validation (EV) certificate validation, the company has an active network of global resellers who rely on Xolphin’s expertise to quickly provide SSL certificates and digital signatures products for email, code signing, and PDF signing. Strengthen and expand digital identity “We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Sectigo for nearly 20 years, allowing us to grow rapidly and establish a highly qualified validation department as a Registration Authority for Sectigo certificates.” “By combining our expertise and resources with Sectigo’s industry leadership, we are well-positioned to strengthen and expand our digital identity and web security offerings,” explained Maarten Bremer, CTO, and Owner, Xolphin. Additional acquisitions With the additions of SSL247 and Xolphin, which will maintain their brands as Sectigo subsidiaries, Sectigo has made four acquisitions over the past three years. In 2019, Sectigo acquired Icon Labs, a security solutions provider for embedded OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, and in 2018 the company acquired Codeguard, Inc., a global front-runner in website maintenance, backup, and disaster recovery.
March 2020 saw the beginning of worldwide lockdown measures that forced the majority of businesses worldwide to work remotely in response to COVID-19. Organisations quickly pivoted their operations from office environments to work-from-home (WFH) models, significantly impacting productivity, performance, and security. These are among the findings of the ‘2020 Work-from-Home IT Impact Study,’ commissioned by Sectigo and conducted by independent research firm Wakefield Research, which polled 500 IT professionals at companies with at least 1,000 employees in the UK, U.S., Canada, Germany, France, and Ireland, to understand the impact of the worldwide crisis on large businesses. Fully remote work environment Transforming to a fully remote work environment required quick updates to technology, processes, and procedures, resulting in repercussions to revenue and cybersecurity. Surprisingly, the survey revealed that despite the need to adapt to a rapidly changing work environment, IT professionals report that their organisations saw performance improvements. Almost half of UK respondents (49%) report that employee productivity at their company has increased In fact, almost half of UK respondents (49%) report that employee productivity at their company has increased as a result of WFH measures. “As C-Level executives continue to embrace the increased productivity of a distributed workforce, they need to consider new approaches to security that rely on automation and secure digital identities,” said Sectigo CEO Bill Holtz. Enabling remote workers “The reality is that the enterprise currently uses a mix of authentication tools that frequently includes outdated or weak methods. This research indicates that with many employees remaining at home for the foreseeable future or even permanently, refining how we grant and manage digital access is more important than ever.” While increased productivity may be one positive outcome, it certainly isn’t an immediate reality for many, as survey responses indicate that enabling remote workers came at the expense of more than just effort and time. Nearly 40% of those surveyed overall—36% in the UK—said that their organisations had to delay revenue-generating initiatives for a month or more to prioritise the setup and success of remote work and ensure their businesses were fully operational with little-to-no downtime. Postponing cybersecurity initiatives While investing in WFH infrastructure was critical for business continuity, project delays have a potential long-term impact across the enterprise. Many IT professionals indicate that establishing WFH infrastructure compromised other important work in their departments. 45% of UK respondents said that they had to postpone cybersecurity initiatives for one month or longer Similar to the number of those reporting that IT projects were forced to freeze, 45% of UK respondents said that they had to postpone cybersecurity initiatives for one month or longer as they focused on remote work setup. IT professionals feel that they and their co-workers have stepped up their performance despite the challenges of transitioning to WFH. More than half (53%) of UK IT professionals feel employee productivity has increased since the start of widespread remote work, while only 12% feel it has decreased. Lasting impact from the pandemic This confidence in productivity is especially high among IT professionals in executive positions. The study found that across regions, C-Level IT pros (63%) are more likely than mid-level (40%) and non-management (41%) IT pros to feel that overall productivity has increased. Since productivity is directly linked to increased revenue, this perception bodes well as enterprises move beyond the lockdown and jumpstart projects that have been stalled. Not surprisingly, with productivity sustaining or increasing, 65% of UK respondents think that the number of remote workers at their company will increase somewhat (49%) or increase significantly (16%), compared to the pre-COVID-19 level, indicating a lasting impact from the pandemic. Traditional cybersecurity threats While Zoom-bombing might have made headlines, only 33% of UK respondents expressed concern about that risk, while many more UK IT professionals worry about traditional cybersecurity threats. Phishing or other malicious emails (47%) and insecure Wi-Fi (48%) pose a higher perceived risk to remote work environments, outweighing concerns around Zoom-bombing, as well as unknown personal computers and BYOD devices (27%). When it comes to securing networks, UK respondents use various measures When it comes to securing networks, applications, and other systems from unauthorised access, UK respondents use various measures, including several with known vulnerabilities. An unfortunate fact is that strong and proven authentication technologies, such as user identity certificates (58%) and biometrics (26%), frequently take a back seat to methods with widely known weaknesses, including traditional username and password (74%) and hardware-token multi-factor authentication (68%). Improving security and business continuity Although security breaches doubled in 2019 and the broad use of traditional security measures have proven to be vulnerable, two-thirds of UK respondents believe that their companies are investing ‘the right amount’ on cybersecurity right now. However, 95% of UK respondents are likely to undertake additional measures to improve security and business continuity in the next 12 months due to widespread remote work—with 52% indicating that they would increase security for data and applications, compared to the pre-COVID-19 level, once offices are reopened. The 2020 Work-from-Home IT Impact Study was conducted by Wakefield Research between May 15th and May 26th, 2020, among 500 IT professionals at companies across industries with at least 1,000 employees in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, and UK. The margin of error for the results is +/- 4.4 percentage points.
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