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History

History

The Board of Directors of WithSecure Corporation approved on 17 February 2022 a plan to pursue towards the separation of its Consumer Security business through a partial demerger.

The aim of the demerger is to separate WithSecure’s consumer security business into an independent group, whose parent company will be the new company to be established F-Secure Oyj. After the demerger, WithSecure focuses on its corporate security business, which includes a wide range of security products developed and sold directly or indirectly to other end customers than consumers.

Before the completion of the Demerger, F-Secure is a part of the WithSecure group, in which the F-Secure consumer security business is conducted.

History of WithSecure

WithSecure was founded in 1988 under the name Data Fellows Oy by Petri Allas and Risto Siilasmaa, the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of WithSecure. At the time, WithSecure’s products and services were much simpler compared to its current offering and WithSecure offered the same products and services for corporations and consumers, since cybersecurity threats faced by corporations and consumers were quite similar and less sophisticated than modern cybersecurity threats. In 1991, WithSecure launched its first major software development project. Since viruses were much rarer at the time than they are today, most companies had to be convinced there is such a thing as a computer virus. However, no later than the year after, in 1992, the Michelangelo virus caused the first public hysteria about a computer virus, which caused a great rush for virus detectors and antivirus programs. In 1999, Data Fellows changed its name to F-Secure Corporation and listed its shares on the official list of Nasdaq Helsinki.

In 2001, WithSecure released the first pocket PC encryption solution for stored emails, contacts, and calendars. The following year, WithSecure launched, together with the Nokia Communicator product family, the first antivirus product for mobile phones.

Acquisitions, product launches and awards

The growth continued, and in 2009 WithSecure acquired Steek SA, a leading European software provider for online storage and data management solutions to fixedline and mobile operators. The same year WithSecure was awarded the title of the best Finnish listed company by economic daily Kauppalehti and banking group OP-Pohjola. F-Secure Internet Security 2011 received the Product of the Year Award by AV-Comparatives in 2011. Continuing the list of awards and recognitions received by WithSecure, WithSecure’s corporate security business strategy was recognised as top-ranked by The Forrester Wave, Endpoint Security report in 2012.

In 2012, WithSecure also launched its next-generation security business platform that enables security and privacy products to be offered through its Channel Partners in a seamless manner. Further, WithSecure launched its user-friendly virtual private network (F-Secure FREEDOME) that hides the customers’ online activity to provide anonymous and secure internet browsing in 2014.

WithSecure continued to grow as a cybersecurity services powerhouse in 2017 with acquisitions of Inverse Path, an industry leader in providing security services to the avionics, automotive, industrial control sectors, and UK-based cybersecurity firm Digital Assurance. At the same time, WithSecure continued to pioneer new solutions to protect individuals and families by launching F-Secure SENSE – WithSecure’s first security appliance and one of the industry’s first security solutions for the internet of things. WithSecure also strengthened its security technology for Mac devices by acquiring the Little Flocker technology in 2017. The year after, in 2018, WithSecure acquired independent cybersecurity consultancy MWR InfoSecurity. The acquisition expanded WithSecure’s geographic reach, establishing it as a major cybersecurity provider on every continent.

Launch of the F-Secure ID PROTECTION solution and demerger

In 2020, WithSecure launched F-Secure ID PROTECTION, a versatile solution that protects personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers by offering an easy-to-use solution for password management with 24/7 online monitoring of personal information, alerts, and guidance in case of a data breach.

In year 2022 The Board of Directors of WithSecure Corporation approved a demerger plan concerning the partial demerger of WithSecure with the purpose to carry out the separation of WithSecure’s consumer security business. WithSecure will, after the Demerger, concentrate on its corporate security business, which consists of designing and providing a comprehensive range of cybersecurity products, services and consultation as well as managed services, and designing and manufacturing software products related to network protection, data security of terminal devices and devices connected to a network.

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