US cybersecurity company Symantec has announced that it is acquiring identity theft protection firm LifeLock for $2.3bn (£1.86bn). The deal is aimed at making Symantec the world's largest digital safety platform.

"As we all know, consumer cybercrime has reached crisis levels. With the combination of Norton and LifeLock, we will be able to deliver comprehensive cyber defense for consumers," said Greg Clark, Symantec's CEO.

Symantec, the maker of Norton antivirus software, hopes to expand its cybersecurity offerings with the latest deal. In August this year, the company had acquired Blue Coat Inc, a firm helping companies maintain security over the internet, for $4.65bn.

Symantec, which is looking to breakout beyond its traditional strength in antivirus software, will integrate LifeLock with its Norton antivirus business into a single product division after the buyout. The entire acquisition process is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to all regulatory approvals.

The Tempe, Arizona-based firm LifeLock has a user base of nearly 4.4 million that Symantec hopes to expand. The company offers an array of identity theft protection packages like Standard, Advantage, Ultimate Plus and Junior monitoring services which is intended to detect fraudulent applications for various credit and non-credit related services. It also works with state agencies, to mend the impact of identity theft.

"After a thorough review of a broad range of alternatives, our board of directors unanimously concluded that Symantec is the ideal strategic partner for LifeLock and offers our shareholders a significant premium for their investment, at closing," said Hilary Schneider, CEO of LifeLock.