Sourcefire Gets Into Cloud Computing Security With Immunet Buy


Sourcefire, best known as the security player that created the open-source intrusion prevention system Snort, threw its hat into the cloud computing security ring this week with the acquisition of cloud-based antimalware startup Immunet.

The move, Sourcefire said, will help the company bulk up its security arsenal and become a cloud computing security force with the addition of Immunet's cloud platform. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Immunet was founded in 2008 and offers free and paid cloud-based antivirus and antimalware protection using a reputation engine that is driven and updated via a community model that taps into more than 750,000 users. The paid version is a subscription service that is combined with signature-based antivirus.

Last year, Columbia, Md.-based Sourcefire added a new set of solutions to its roster with its Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS), Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Razorback, a framework aimed at online security threats.

The acquisition, which was completed for $21 million -- $17 million cash now and $4 million cash to be paid over the next 18 months -- will enable Sourcefire to tie Immunet's cloud computing security offerings, such as cloud-based malware and virus protection, into Sourcefire's existing intrusion-prevention solutions to build out a single suite to better protect endpoints from client-side attacks. Together, the two companies also can offer reputation services, data loss prevention and forensics to ensure a secure environment.

"Immunet is a disruptive innovator in delivering cloud-based security solutions with over 750,000 users in 192 countries," John Burris, CEO of Sourcefire, said in a statement. "This acquisition enables Sourcefire to accelerate our cloud initiatives and provides significant value to customers by protecting them against advanced client-side attacks. Immunet's technologies build upon Sourcefire's reputation for providing customers with innovative solutions that protect them from the latest threats."

In a blog post discussing Sourcefire's acquisition of Immunet, Immunet founder Oliver Friedrichs wrote that the deal will allow Immunet to operate and develop technology "with a large amount of autonomy" and have access to Sourcefire's existing customer base. Sourcefire said Friedrichs and the other Immunet founders, Alfred Huger and Adam O'Donnell, will stay on board, as will all of Immunet's full-time employees. Sourcefire also created a Cloud Technology Group to continue to develop cloud computing security tools.

"Sourcefire is a great match for us from a technological, cultural and philosophical standpoint -- that was one of the reasons why this acquisition made so much sense," Friedrichs wrote in the blog post. "They are a well-respected company with deep roots in security [and] solid products such as Snort, the most well-known network intrusion prevention system on the market today."