RealTime IT News

McAfee Deepens Security Reach

Anti-virus heavyweight McAfee (formerly Network Associates) plans to shell out $86 million in cash to acquire risk management consultant Foundstone in a move aimed at strengthening its enterprise security offerings.

McAfee , known for its network monitoring and troubleshooting programs, said the deal provides an entry into the vulnerability assessment and IT management market.

It extends the shopping spree started by Network Associates last year that included the $120 million acquisition of Entercept Security Technologies and the $100 million cash deal for IntruVert Networks.

Foundstone, which hawks software, appliances and consulting services for enterprises looking to monitor security risk, gives McAfee a major presence in a business that is ripe for the taking.

With malicious hacker attacks on the rise, businesses have turned to technology to prioritize threats and vulnerabilities. Research firm IDC has projected the vulnerability assessment and risk management market to reach $1.6 billion by 2008.

"Chief information security officers need a comprehensive view of where their risks are, and business executives need to understand how those risks can translate into business impact," said McAfee CEO George Samenuk. "Foundstone enables both."

The deal also includes Foundstone's customer base of more than 400 large enterprises that include the likes of AT&T and Motorola , as well as several government agencies.

Once the deal clears regulatory hurdles, McAfee plans to sell the Foundstone line of products under that brand.

The Foundstone purchase is the first major move by McAfee since the April announcement of a dramatic restructuring plan that included a $275 million deal to sell its Sniffer division.

That move included the adoption of the McAfee name and a narrower focus on Internet security products and services. McAfee is also in the midst of a fundamental redesign of internal back office systems, a modification of product designs and Web Services changes to the reseller and distribution programs.