Symantec Catches Enterprise Fever

Buys three security firms to stake out arena

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Symantec's acquisition of three security firms will help it achieve its goal of becoming the top supplier of integrated security solutions for the enterprise, said President and COO John Schwarz.

Cupertino-based Symantec last week bought Riptech, an Alexandria, Va.-based managed security provider, for $145 million; Recourse Technologies, a Redwood City, Calif.-based intrusion-detection vendor, for $135 million; and SecurityFocus, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of enterprise security-threat management systems, for $75 million. The deals are expected to close by mid-August.

>> 'These acquistions are all designed to complement our. . .strategy to reach the security buyer in the enterprise.' -- Symantec's John Schwarz


"These acquisitions are all designed to complement our existing strategy to reach the security buyer in the enterprise," Schwarz said, explaining that Symantec is evolving from a consumer- to an enterprise-oriented security vendor.

Symantec announced the acquisitions as it smashed Wall Street estimates for its first quarter, posting revenue of $316 million, a 39 percent year-over-year increase.

Schwarz said that the Recourse acquisition will provide Symantec with gigabit-speed, network-based intrusion-detection technology, an area where the company was lagging.

The addition of Riptech, with its more than 500 customers and proprietary Caltarian technology, will boost Symantec's managed security business, Schwarz said. The 70 Riptech VARs also "contribute nicely" to Symantec's strategy of beefing up its VAR channel, he said.

By acquiring SecurityFocus, Symantec will enhance its security alert service, Schwarz said, adding that his company plans to continue to operate the SecurityFocus Bugtraq online mailing list of vulnerabilities.

Symantec channel partners applauded the acquisitions. "I'm thrilled to see Symantec aggressively move into gigabit-speed, enterprise network intrusion detection, security event correlation, analysis and response," said Chris Ellerman, vice president of professional services at Meridian IT Solutions, Schaumburg, Ill. "This really rounds out its story. Symantec has been moving from the consumer to the enterprise environment, and this puts them right into the enterprise."

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