Citrix Acquires Web Application Firewall ISV Teros

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal to buy the privately held firm, announced Tuesday, gives Citrix a firewall offering for Web-based applications including business applications and XML Web services.

Citrix will integrate Teros' Sunnyvale, Calif.-based team with its application networking group in nearby San Jose, Calif.

As part of the acquisition, Citrix will rebrand Teros' offering as the Citrix NetScaler Application Firewall, said Wes Wasson, vice president of marketing for Citrix's application networking group in San Jose, formed after Citrix's acquisition of NetScaler closed three months ago.

In 2006, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix will offer the Web application firewall as an integrated add-on module to its NetScaler application delivery platform.

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Prior to the acquisition, NetScaler and Teros had an ongoing partnership and OEM deal under development, which will accelerate the integration efforts, Wesson said.

Wesson predicted there will be significant interest in Teros' software because of the new wave of Web-based cross-side scripting, command injection attacks and data theft attacks being waged by hackers against online merchants, financial sites and banking customers.

He said the Teros offering differs from traditional perimeter-based offerings because of its sophisticated protection of Web applications.

"It's an appliance delivered in front of an application and has a high level of application intelligence and allows legitimate traffic to pass through while blocking hacker attempts," said Wesson. "It blocks all sorts of attacks that intrusion-prevention systems can't prevent."

Teros currently offers three versions of its Web application firewall priced at between $15,000 and $45,000.

Citrix will authorize its 4,000 partners to begin selling Citrix NetScaler Application Firewall and plans to offer certifications and hold an official launch at its annual partner conference early next year, Wesson said. Partners, however, can begin selling the product now, he said.

Teros' handful of channel partners will be invited to join Citrix's program, Wesson said.

Teros competes against perimeter-based firewall vendors including NetContunuum, Santa Clara, Calif., Wesson noted. When the Teros module is combined with Citrix's NetScaler platform, Citrix's combined solution will compete against offerings from F5 Networks.

Partners were not available as of press time for comment. But Ross Brown, Citrix's former channel chief who now serves as COO of security ISV eEye, says he won't be competing directly against his former employer.

"They are complementary technologies. Teros is a perimeter-based product that scans attacks against applications at the edge of the network, and we have device-based products that protect clients from attack and a network analyzer that scans the network devices for vulnerabilities," Brown told CRN, noting that the Teros deal will further expand Citrix's evolving identity as a supplier of secure access products. "It's a good move as part of their access strategy--more [software] is needed to be a complete solution set."

The Teros deal is just the latest in a string of software acquisitions that began in 2003. The company bought ExpertCity in late 2003, SSL VPN vendor Net6 in 2005 and NetScaler in 2005.

One partner who asked not to be named, however, said Citrix is straddling the fence between its traditional role as an infrastrustructure services ISV and security ISV. "It's enough to [tick] off Check Point and Juniper," said the partner.