3Com Gears Up To Leverage TippingPoint Security Appliances

The approximately $430 million deal, unveiled last month, is expected to close by the end of February.

After the deal closes, 3Com plans to offer TippingPoint's UnityOne enterprise-focused security appliances through a select group of channel partners and its direct-sales force, said Anik Bose, vice president of corporate development at Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com. The company is planning to launch a channel-friendly version of the appliance for the SMB market within the next six to nine months, he said. TippingPoint will operate as a division of 3Com.

3Com also plans over the next 12 to 24 months to roll out security blades based on TippingPoint's intrusion-prevention technology for its infrastructure and VoIP gear, he said.

3Com and its channel partners could most benefit from an integrated security solution for the vendor's VoIP lineup, said Don Gulling, president of Verteks Consulting, a 3Com partner in Ocala, Fla.

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"3Com's NBX is a very secure product, but every time we implement VoIP we get asked about security," Gulling said. "Other vendors have built-in security solutions, so to compete in larger deals against a Cisco [Systems] or a Nortel [Networks], you're going to need to have a security solution that's designed to work with your VoIP system," he said.

TippingPoint's product line already includes VoIP-focused security features, said Marc Willebeek-LeMair, CTO of TippingPoint, Austin, Texas. "You're bringing voice traffic into the IP environment and subjecting it to the same attacks, worms, viruses and Trojans," he said. "You need to protect it the same way you protect other applications—the operating system it's built on and the protocols."

UnityOne appliances root out malicious traffic before it causes problems. They also block spyware, which can free up bandwidth and improve network performance, Willebeek-LeMair said.