Intel Security Confirms Divestiture Of McAfee NGFW, Firewall Enterprise Businesses In Memo To Partners

Intel Security for the first time confirmed its divestiture of its McAfee Next-Generation Firewall and McAfee Firewall Enterprise businesses in a memo to partners Wednesday evening.

The memo, which was viewed by CRN, confirms that the security vendor had sold the two business units to Raytheon|Websense for an undisclosed amount. The two business lines include the lines that were part of the Stonesoft and Sidewinder acquisitions, in 2013 and 2008, respectively. The acquisition is expected to close later this year, according to the memo.

The memo, which was signed by Lisa Matherly, head of worldwide partner programs, operations and marketing, marks the first time that Intel Security has confirmed the divestiture. Intel Security said in a response to a CRN request for comment that the company "signed a definitive agreement to divest the Intel Security McAfee Firewall Enterprise and McAfee Next Generation Firewall (formerly Stonesoft) businesses to Raytheon|Websense."

[Related: As Intel Security Cuts And Sells Multiple Products, Waves Of Uncertainty Hit Partners]

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The sale is part of a new strategy by Intel Security, unveiled at its Focus 15 event and reiterated in the memo to partners, to focus its investments around the threat defense life cycle, including protection, detection and correction. That push will involve some "tough trade-offs" in some lines of the company's business, Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security, said at the event. In addition to the sale of the two network security divisions, Intel Security recently announced the end of life of close to a dozen email, SaaS and mobile security lines.

"Intel Security is also actively exiting certain products to accelerate focus and investment in priority technologies," the memo stated, and directed partners to the Partner Portal for more information.

Ken Phalen, chief technology officer of Montvale, N.J.-based Gotham Technology Group, an Intel Security partner, said the divestitures seem to be in the right areas of the Intel Security business, where either the technology or the sales wasn't as strong as its competitors.

However, Matherly wrote in the memo to partners that the sale of the NGFW and Firewall Enterprise businesses doesn't mean that Intel Security is abandoning its network security business entirely.

"Our other network security products, including our industry-leading IPS, remain core pillars of the Intel Security product portfolio. We understand that meeting the ongoing demand for world-class firewall technologies remains critical to many partners. These products will continue to benefit from integration with key Intel Security technologies," the memo stated.

Partners can expect to see even more changes around the company's partner program over the next couple of months to align it with these changes, according to the memo. Intel Security most recently updated its partner program in July. The changes will emphasize services in particular, the memo said, as Intel Security sees that as "one of the most profound opportunities for partners."

"The Threat Defense Lifecycle best meets the market’s continually evolving security needs, while providing expanding opportunities for Intel Security and our channel partners. And for this reason these efforts will be the top drivers of success in 2016 and beyond," the memo stated.