VendorSafe Technologies has named Kevin Watson as its new chief executive.

The Houston-based provider of cloud-managed security for payments and wireless systems for small businesses also announced Providence Equity Partners out of Rhode Island has become its majority shareholder.

Providence, a global private equity firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments, did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

Previously, Watson was chairman and CEO of Verid, Inc., a provider of remote identity verification technology and a portfolio company of a fund managed by the Providence Strategic Growth team at a prior firm.

"I am excited to join the VendorSafe team, as the company is very well positioned to address the rapidly expanding market opportunity driven by growing breach awareness in the small business community," Watson said in a Nov. 18 press release. "With more than 80% of breach attacks targeting small businesses, VendorSafe's implementation technology uniquely positions us to address this growing segment of the market."

VendorSafe's IT security services are designed to protect information, payment systems, and on-premise public and private Wi-Fi networks from data breaches and other risks posed by hackers, the company said. The technology also aids small businesses in complying with new 3.0 Payment Card Industry data security standards, while handling network and on-premise WiFi security management.

The company targets small to mid-size retailers, quick-service restaurants and grocers. With Providence's support, VendorSafe plans to expand into hospitality, healthcare, legal and insurance markets.

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