HP To Buy SPI Dynamics, Denies Broad Security Play

application security

SPI Dynamics' family of products scans Web applications for vulnerabilities. Its tools can be used to uncover potential security problems during application development, throughout the quality assurance process and after Web applications are deployed.

The Atlanta-based company currently has some 140 employees and more than 1,000 enterprise customers. Its product line is already tightly integrated with Quality Center, which HP acquired from Mercury Interactive in 2006.

"Once problems are found in production, people start to look upstream and find out how they can remedy or address these much earlier," said Jonathan Rende, vice president of products for Quality Management software at HP, Palo Alto, Calif., during a conference call. "Usually that takes them to quality assurance and performance validation, but it also takes them to development upstream and even to requirements and how the policies are set before that. The solution that SPI Dynamics brings to the table addresses all of those pieces."

HP plans to fold SPI Dynamics into its Technology Solutions Group software unit. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Separately, HP also Tuesday introduced a new portfolio of security-oriented products and service offerings under the HP Secure Advantage program. The new products include the Compliance Log Warehouse appliance, the StorageWorks LTO-4 Ultrium1840 encrypting tape drive and the Identity Center software package.

HP emphasized, however, that the SPI Dynamics acquisition was not indicative of a broader push into the security space. "We see this as an addition to our testing and applications portfolio," said Sandeep Johri, HP's vice president of strategy and corporate development. "So we are not setting out to become a security vendor, from a firewall or perimeter security point of view."

On the other hand, the Secure Advantage product launches represent the culmination of a long-term security plan, Chris Whitener, HP's director of enterprise storage and servers security strategy, said in an interview. "Basically, it's time for a lot of HP's security efforts to come to fruition, and we really wanted to put together an offering that encompasses all the security products in HP, as well as introducing some new technology and new capabilities."

HP is the latest big-name vendor to pursue the Web application security space. IBM earlier this month unveiled plans to acquire Watchfire, a competitor of SPI Dynamics.