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RSA acquires authentication company

Purchase of Cyota expected to bolster RSA's consumer offerings and expand its reach in the banking industry.

Identity and access management firm RSA Security has snapped up authentication services provider Cyota in a $145 million deal.

The deal to acquire the privately held firm broadens RSA's portfolio and also brings on board a wealth of expertise in the financial services industry, with firms such as Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, HBOS and RBS listed among Cyota's customers for consumer antifraud and authentication offerings.

Art Coviello, president and CEO of RSA Security, said the deal enables RSA to focus more actively on the consumer side of the industry as banks begin to feel increasing pressure to make available services for stronger online authentication in light of phishing and identity fraud.

Speaking to earlier this year, Coviello said banks that do not roll out stronger authentication will soon start to feel the pinch.

"People will vote with their feet. They may not change their bank but they may not bank online anymore," he said. "Banks who aren't doing this will be forced to change."

And it's not just banking. The combined RSA and Cyota offering will also play well in the e-commerce market, Coviello said in a statement Monday.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Will Sturgeon of reported from London.