AT&T is set to separate its managed cybersecurity services from its core connectivity business through a joint venture with WillJam Ventures. In this strategic move, AT&T will transfer its security software, managed security operations, and security consulting resources into a standalone cybersecurity services unit co-owned by WillJam and AT&T.
WillJam Ventures, led by Bob McCullen, a former Trustwave executive, will make an undisclosed capital investment in the new venture. The joint venture aims to enhance AT&T’s focus on embedding security features in its connectivity products while expanding its managed security services offerings.
This development comes after nine months of reports suggesting AT&T’s exploration of bids for its security business, with Barclays being involved in the process. The joint venture is expected to close in the first quarter of the upcoming year. AT&T’s move aligns with its broader strategy to reduce debt and streamline its operations, as seen in several divestitures in recent years.
The joint venture with WillJam Ventures positions AT&T to address the growing demand for managed security services amid expanding attack surfaces and a shortage of cybersecurity skills.
WillJam Ventures, known for its ownership of PCI security services vendor VikingCloud and MDR provider GoSecure, brings expertise in the cybersecurity domain. The joint venture will enable AT&T to continue offering managed security services while enhancing its focus on network-based security capabilities.
The goal is to create a new category of network-embedded security, particularly targeting small and medium-sized business customers. AT&T is currently introducing controlled offerings for these new products, emphasizing the importance of providing comprehensive security solutions in today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape.