RealTime IT News

Forum Systems Fills Security Hole

Forum Systems, which makes appliances to protect Web services transactions across firewalls, added some vulnerability-assessment and policy-compliance software to the mix when it acquired Kenai Systems this week.

Rocklin, Calif.-based Kenai is a privately held maker of eXamine, a suite of security software tools tailored for Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Forum, which competes against IBM, Cisco Systems and some smaller players in the market for securing Web services, said it will integrate Kenai's security assessment tools within its Seamless Security Solutions Architecture (Forum S3A).

"We look to develop or acquire technologies that will reduce risk when implementing SOAs," said Forum CEO and President Wes Swenson in a statement.

"Kenai's eXamine tool allows our customers to gain much needed visibility into security and compliance exposures. Combine this with our XML Firewall and Gateway solutions and you get the most comprehensive SOA security solution on the market."

Specifically, Kenai's eXamineXT lets developers test Web services for exposure to security vulnerabilities.

EXamineSOA is a policy-based security and compliance tool that helps define policies and best practices to generate and run test cases.

EXamineSOA Enterprise adds a multi-user shared library to eXamineSOA, enabling enterprises to share policies, test suites, cases and results.

The deal makes sense on a number of levels, said ZapThink Research analyst Jason Bloomberg.

"Kenai's policy definition is like peanut butter to Forum's policy enforcement chocolate," Bloomberg said. "Also, they shared investors, so the synergies made sense to them as a single company."

Forum and Kenai also share a common interest in growing their respective businesses in a market that consolidates with each passing month. ZapThink predicted 2006 would be a year of mass consolidation in the burgeoning market for distributed computing systems such as SOAs .

The market has done little to dispel that notion.

In January, Mercury acquired registry and policy governance specialist Systinet for $105 million.

Fewer than two weeks later, Progress Software landed on SOA management vendor Actional for $32 million in cash and stock.