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McAfee Continues Acquisition Spree

McAfee is continued its acquisition spree yet again, this time with the $20 million cash purchase of privately held data-protection solutions vendor Onigma Ltd.

Onigma's data-loss prevention product will now be rolled into a new McAfee Data Loss Prevention solution that aims to protect enterprises against the risks of unauthorized data transfer.

The solution will be host based and is targeted for release in the first quarter of 2007.

The Onigma acquisition is the second in nearly as many weeks for McAfee, which picked up Citadel Security for $56 million in cash at the beginning of the month.

There is a method and an underlying strategy to McAfee's buying spree. It's all about creating an end-to-end comprehensive security solution suite that helps to address both security and compliance issues.

Vimal Solanki, senior director of product marketing at McAfee, explained to internetnews.com that it's all part of a new strategy that McAfee is now calling McAfee Security Risk Management (SRM).

Solanki noted that a major pain point for enterprises is that they have five or more security and compliance solutions that require different consoles to operate.

The general idea behind SRM is to provide an integrated solution set such that enterprises can handle most of their security needs via a unified policy console, namely McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator.

By handling multiple types of security and compliance solutions in an integrated manner the idea is that enterprises end up with stronger security overall.

"When you have point solutions they act like a picket fence and when you have an approach like this it acts like a fortress," Solanki said.

McAfee's SRM is a strategy that involves both software and hardware. Unlike its competitor Symantec, which is now turning to Juniper for its hardware.

McAfee apparently is sticking with its own Intrushield hardware appliances.

The compliance end of SRM has been built out by McAfee over the past two years according to Solanki. It began in 2004, with the acquisition of Foundstone for $86 and continued with the acquisition of Preventsys in June.

Integration of all the various tools that McAfee has bought over the last few years is a key part of the overall strategy.

According to Solanki there was no "magic sauce" involved in putting together the various elements in an integrated solution set.

"It's all about proactive up-front planning and a lot of sweat," Solanki said. "In every acquisition we've pursued, integration has been the No. 1 question we've asked."