Facebook is reportedly gearing up to acquire a cybersecurity company in an effort to assure users that security is a top priority of the social media company.
CNET, citing a report from The Information, reported Facebook has reached out to several security companies that could be takeover targets. The Information cited unnamed sources for its report, noted CNET. The potential targets weren’t named, but a deal may happen before the end of this year. Facebook was prompted to look for a cybersecurity buy in part because of its latest breach, which it has said was the largest in its history. In that breach, it initially thought 50 million user accounts were impacted but has reduced that to around 29 million. The hackers were able to access phone numbers, email addresses and recent searches, noted the report. CNET, citing the Wall Street Journal, reported Facebook thinks it was spammers pretending to be digital marketing companies rather than hackers working for a foreign government. CNET noted that Facebook declined to comment on the reports that it is looking to acquire a security company.
With a spotlight being shone on Facebook and how it protects customers’ data, some investors including pension funds are calling for the ouster of Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. Earlier this month CNBC reported New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said Facebook’s board needs to make a real commitment to addressing the risks. “We need Facebook’s insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks — reputational, regulatory and the risk to our democracy — that impact the company, its share owners, and ultimately the hard-earned pensions of thousands of New York City workers,” he told CNBC. The report noted that the proposal to remove Zuckerberg from the CEO job and the board is a symbolic one, since Zuckerberg has control of the board. Stringer is adding his name to a previous proposal put forth by Trillium Asset Management in which the investor called on Zuckerberg to step down.