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VeriSign Makes $40M Move on Defense

Infrastructure provider VeriSign announced today the $40 million acquisition of network security firm iDefense, in an effort to expand its managed security services.

VeriSign, which is known for its digital commerce and communication products and services, said it will fold iDefense into its security services division. iDefense will take on the VeriSign name and continue to market the iDefense suite of intelligence services.

"Network perimeters are expanding to include customers, partners and remote employees, so enterprises must leverage the most advanced security intelligence to protect customer data and corporate assets," Judy Lin, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSign security services, said in a statement.

The iDefense business model currently focuses on providing early-warning assessments of Internet security threats to a government and large enterprise clients.

The buy positions VeriSign to market the iDefense research products to a wider audience, while at the same time using data from VeriSign security-monitoring operations to bolster research, the firm said.

"The acquisition of iDefense expands the VeriSign suite of managed security services, providing customers with additional capabilities with which to proactively protect their networks from vulnerabilities and attacks," Lin said.

The addition of iDefense will augment the VeriSign Managed Security Services (MSS) offering and represents an expansion of the company's ability to monitor and assess security threats in real time.

"Our iDefense intelligence-gathering capabilities, coupled with the unique intelligence VeriSign already gathers from its MSS business and operation of core Internet technologies, will enable us to provide more comprehensive, actionable intelligence to our customers before attacks strike," John Watters, iDefense CEO, said in a statement.

The companies said Watters will continue to lead the VeriSign iDefense research team.

This is the second time VeriSign has made an aggressive push into the managed-security services industry in the past few years. In late 2003, the company acquired privately held security services provider Guardent for $140 million.