Novell Sharpens Security Chops With Senforce Buy

Novell has been looking to extend its policy-based management offerings to include endpoint security technologies. Earlier this year, the two companies launched ZENworks Endpoint Security Management, a product that protects endpoints by enforcing encryption security policies at the desktop level, even when a user isn't online.

ZENworks Endpoint Security Management can also lock down data on USB keys and removable storage devices, and comes with wireless security and application control features.

Some of these features are the result of Senforce's partnership with network access control vendor StillSecure. In February 2006, the two companies agreed to integrate StillSecure's NAC technology with Senforce's endpoint security technology.

Many people confuse endpoint security with NAC, but they're actually two separate aspects of security that are very complimentary, says Alan Shimel, chief strategy officer at StillSecure, Superior, Colo.

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"If you have managed devices that have the Senforce agent installed, you can control what assets users can see on the network," said Shimel. Senforce also adds the ability to lock down USB drives and control read/write privileges on your endpoint, almost to the level of a data leak prevention solution, added Shimel.

The Senforce deal is the latest arrow in Novell's security quiver. Novell in April 2006 bought e-Security, a vendor of realtime security and compliance monitoring technology, for $72 million. In May 2005, Novell acquired Immunix, a developer of host-based application security systems for Linux.

Traditionally a direct seller, Senforce in 2005 announced plans to revamp its channel program with a goal of doing 90 percent of its business through the channel. But last June, when Senforce announced an OEM partnership with network client management vendor Altiris, company executives said that around 20 percent of its business was going through channel partners.