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Check Point Targets Intrusion Prevention

Check Point Software Technologies aims to expand its presence in the intrusion prevention market with the acquisition of Sourcefire, the company that maintains the open source Snort IPS.

Check Point said last week that it plans to buy Sourcefire for $225 million. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter. The boards of both Check Point, based in Redwood City, Calif., and Sourcefire, Columbia, Md., as well as Sourcefire shareholders already have approved the acquisition.

Check Point now will meld Sourcefire&s Intrusion Sensor, Real-Time Network Awareness and Defense Center product lines with its own InterSpect and Integrity internal security product lines.

“Sourcefire will extend Check Point&s unified security architecture with attack definitions and intelligent threat detection technologies, and expand our solution portfolio in the areas of intrusion prevention and network awareness,” said Gil Shwed, Check Point chairman and CEO.

Steve Snider, president of security specialist Cadre Information Security in Cincinnati, said Sourcefire&s product lines complement those from Check Point. That&s because Check Point&s InterSpect IPS product uses deep packet inspection to look for anomalous behavior, while Sourcefire products use a signature-based approach, he explained.

“We have already reviewed the Sourcefire product and liked it, but we didn&t think the organization was developed enough,” Snider said. “There is a lot of interest in Snort, but IT managers are nervous about aligning with an unproven brand like Sourcefire. Now, with the power of the Check Point organization behind it, it is going to be a very successful combination.”

Sourcefire products will be available to Check Point partners once the acquisition closes. “This expanded portfolio will be delivered through the Check Point worldwide distribution channel,” Shwed said.

On the product side, Shwed said Check Point is fully committed to all existing Sourcefire and Check Point product lines as well as to Sourcefire&s Snort open source community. Although the products will be integrated into Check Point&s unified management platform, the company would not commit to a specific time frame.

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