Symantec To Acquire Public Sector Security Specialist


Financial terms of the deal, which Symantec expects to close at the end of its March quarter, were not disclosed.

"Gideon is a leader in SCAP, and they jumped in very early there and have a great deal of expertise," said Gigi Schumm, Symantec's vice president and general manager, public sector. "We looked at buy versus build and it was a time-to-market consideration."

Privately-held Gideon is based in Alpharetta, Ga. Its flagship product is SecureFusion, a SCAP-validated risk management suite that includes network and asset discovery, threat management and other functions. The suite's SecureFusion Portal, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) interface, offers users a view of everything from policy compliance to detected vulnerabilities on a single screen.

"It's really a platform for automating all of your security company's activities," said Scott Armstrong, vice president of marketing and alliance for Gideon, in an October 2009 interview.

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SCAP validation is required in U.S. federal government agencies to automate how federal systems check for vulnerability, patch needs and perform other forms of security compliance under regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley.

According to Symantec, it will integrate SecureFusion into the Symantec Management Platform, formerly known as Altiris, and look to integrate Gideon's technologies into other Symantec products down the line.

Gideon has a small, but growing channel presence that as of fall 2009 numbered five solution provider partners in North America. Several of those partners, Schumm said, were already good-standing Symantec partners, too.

"They will have another Symantec solution to sell and one that is specifically targeted at our federal customers," Schumm said. "Symantec can even better serve our public sector customers' needs."

All of Gideon's team will move to Symantec intact, according to Schumm. Senior managers, including President and CEO Kenneth Halley and CTO Jonathan Frazier, will report to Ken Berryman, Symantec's senior vice president of strategy.

Gideon will continue to be located in Alpharetta, but Schumm said they will eventually migrate the Gideon team to Symantec's regional office in Dunwoody, Ga., and its Beltway-based employees to Symantec's Herndon, Va. office.

Among Gideon integrator partners joining Symantec for the first time is The Winvale Group, with which Gideon holds a GSA SmatBUY Situational Awareness Incident Response contract.

Schumm added that Symantec expects the acquisition to be completed by the end of March, deep site integration to be completed within six months, and the integration of SecureFusion onto Symantec's Altiris platform to be completed within a year.

Gideon Technologies was a member of the Symantec Developer Program before the acquisition, which according to Schumm gave Symantec a "head start" on working with SecureFusion internally.

"We demoed a working prototype at the Security Automation Conference [October 2009] in Baltimore," she said. "It was a good opportunity to see how customers were reacting to it."