Monday, October 10, 2005

Checkpoint buys Sourcefire

Security system developer Check Point Software Technologies acquired Sourcefire, a provider of intrusion prevention and network awareness systems, for $225 million cash on Thursday as it seeks to expand beyond its core firewall and virtual private network businesses. Privately-held Sourcefire was founded in 2001 to commercialise the open-source intrusion-detection system (IDS) software but has yet to turn a profit. Sourcefire has about 140 employees. There are "current plans" for layoffs.

Check Point will keep the company's Snort technology open, they said, so that it could be used by other companies and enterprises. But they were vague about an exact roadmap for the future and merely hinted about product integration. The acquisition marks a rare decision by Check Point to buy, rather than build, its security technology.

Check Point, based in Israel, was previously slow to introduce new products and react to market changes, such as the addition of security appliances, until this past year, analysts have said. But in buying Sourcefire, Check Point may be reacting to pressure as networking giants such as Cisco Systems, 3Com (with the aquisition of Tipping Point), McAfee (enjoying success with their IntruShield IPS appliance) and Juniper Networks make heavy inroads into the IPS appliance market.

Check Point expects Sourcefire will account for 6 percent to 8 percent of its overall revenues next year.

CATEGORIES: 1aquisitions, 1intrusion prevention, 1open source,1vendor
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