Why it matters: Facebook could mitigate most of the negative publicity it has received in 2018 with the acquisition of a major cybersecurity firm. It would be a stellar PR move, doing more for the company's image than any public promise from a high-ranking executive.

Facebook has approached several major cybersecurity firms about a possible acquisition in an effort to improve its tarnished reputation following multiple high-profile data scandals.

Sources familiar with the matter wouldn’t tell The Information which firms Facebook is talking with but one person said a deal could materialize by the end of the year.

Acquiring a well-known and respected cybersecurity firm would be a great PR move for Facebook, signaling to its billions of users - and investors - that it is indeed serious about keeping data protected. More importantly, it would be a huge step in actually accomplishing that goal and preventing future breaches.

Facebook said earlier this month that 30 million accounts had recently been hacked and that personal information on nearly half of them had been exposed. It is believed that spammers, not hackers affiliated with a nation-state, were responsible for the attack.

Even with a flashy acquisition and additional security measures, there’s no guarantee that your data will be safe on Facebook – or anywhere else on the Internet, for that matter. As the world’s largest social network, Facebook has an absolutely massive target on its back and it’s not going to fade overnight.

Lead image via Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images