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SafeNet, Inc.
Industry Information security
Founded Timonium, Maryland 1983 (1983)
Headquarters Belcamp, Maryland, United States
Products Encryption, Semiconductor IP, Software Monetization, Software as a Service, Hardware Security Modules, Authentication, Security tokens
Number of employees
1,600 (2011)
Parent Gemalto
Divisions Data Protection, Software Monetization

SafeNet, Inc. was an information security company based in Belcamp, Maryland, United States. The company is now the fifth largest vendor in the security market and third largest provider of information security solutions in the world with revenues ~$500M.[1]

On 8 August 2014, Gemalto announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of SafeNet from Vector Capital for US$890 million on a debt free/cash free basis.[2] It was notably one of the largest suppliers of encryption technology to the United States Government.[3]

Now part of Gemalto and marketed under the SafeNet product brand, offerings include enterprise authentication, data encryption, key management and software monetization.


  • 1983: SafeNet, Inc was founded in 1983 as Industrial Resource Engineering by two NSA engineers and one entrepreneur name Anthony A Caputo.
  • 1987: Information Resource Engineering renamed to IRE
  • 1989: IRE went public in an IPO. IRE's IPO raised $4 million
  • 1989: IRE listed in Nasdaq
  • 1994: IRE acquired Connective Strategies, Inc., founded by Internet pioneer Charles D. Brown
  • 1995: IRE released their first VPN system, called SafeNet, co-invented by Vinton G. Cerf and Charles D. Brown
  • 1996: MCI Communications launched the first commercial VPN service using SafeNet technology
  • 1996: IRE renamed to SafeNet, Inc. after the VPN product line
  • 2002: SafeNet acquired a Dutch company Securealink
  • February 2003: SafeNet acquired Cylink and Raqia Networks
  • October 2003: SafeNet acquired the OEM business of SSH Communications Security[4]
  • March 2004: SafeNet acquired Rainbow Technologies
  • December 2004: SafeNet acquired Datakey, Inc
  • April 2005: SafeNet acquired DMDSecure B.V.
  • June 2005: SafeNet acquired MediaSentry
  • December 2005: SafeNet acquired Eracom Technologies AG
  • 2006: SafeNet was involved in the options backdating controversy. As a result, both the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer resigned and in 2008 the company's former CFO was sentenced to six months in prison for manipulating employee stock options.[5][6][7]
  • April 2007: a Californian equity company Vector Capital bought the firm for $634 million, making it private[8]
  • April 2008: SafeNet acquired Ingrian Networks, Inc.
  • May 2008: SafeNet acquired Beep Science AS
  • March 2009: SafeNet parent company, Vector Capital acquired Aladdin Knowledge Systems[9]
  • April 2009: SafeNet sold MediaSentry to ArtistDirect
  • December 2009: SafeNet acquired Assured Decisions, LLC[10]
  • December 2012: SafeNet sold its Government Solutions business unit to Raytheon
  • August 2014: SafeNet announced it is to be acquired by Gemalto by the 4Q 2014[11]

Current and former subsidiaries[edit]

The former Rainbow Technologies subsidiary SafeNet Government Solutions, LLC formerly SafeNet Mykotronx is still based in Torrance, California with offices in Irvine, California and Columbia, Maryland.[12] The company was founded in 1979 as Myko Enterprises. It changed its name to Mykotronx, Inc in 1987 and merged with SafeNet as part of the SafeNet merger with Rainbow in 2004.[13] SafeNet Government Solutions, LLC has been operationally merged into SafeNet and the lines between the two organizations have been intentionally blurred due to financial reasons. SafeNet Government Solutions is no longer considered a subsidiary. SafeNet Government Solutions, LLC provides INFOSEC and COMSEC technology for the US government. The firm has an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for its KIV-7 line of commercial off-the-shelf cryptographic devices that provide protection for digital and voice communications through TOP SECRET, used by agencies such as the NSA and the NRO.[14] Other products include the KOV-14 Fortezza Plus PC card which was developed as part of the NSA's NSSI program and is used on Secure Terminal Equipment.[15] They previously developed the clipper chip.[16][17]

In 2009, Vector Capital acquired Aladdin Knowledge Systems, and placed it under SafeNet with the annotation of 'under common management'. In 2010, the two companies were officially merged.


  1. ^ "SafeNet History". SafeNet, Inc. 
  2. ^ "Gemalto to acquire SafeNet, the worldwide leader in data and software protection". 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  3. ^ Roseanne Gerin (2005-04-10). "SafeNet wins DOD network security deal". Washington Technology Magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  4. ^ "SSH sells its OEM business to SafeNet". 2003-10-14. 
  5. ^ Jones/Associated, Dow (October 19, 2006). "SafeNet Is Roiled by Options Inquiry". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  6. ^ Reuters
  7. ^ "Cost of Backdating: Six Months, $1 Million". 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  8. ^ "SafeNet sold, goes private". 2007-04-13. 
  9. ^ "Aladdin Knowledge Systems Completes Merger with Vector Capital Affiliate" (PDF). 2009-03-24. 
  10. ^ "SafeNet to Acquire Assured Decisions, LLC". 2009-12-23. 
  11. ^ "Gemalto Buys SafeNet for $890 Million". 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2015-01-09. 
  12. ^ "SafeNet Offices - North America". 
  13. ^ "About SafeNet Mykotronx". 
  14. ^ "KIV-7 Family". Federation of American Scientists. 
  15. ^ "Mykotronx wins defense card work". 

External links[edit]