Zeus Technology announces art of defence acquisition

Zeus says the art of defence acquisition will boost its effort to provide Web application security for cloud computing deployments.

UK-based application security vendor Zeus Technology announced Thursday that it has acquired German Web application firewall (WAF) vendor art of defence GmbH for an undisclosed sum.

In a statement, Zeus said the move was made as a result of increased demand for Web application security, particularly in regard to cloud computing deployments. Art of defense is known for hyperguard, its Software as a Service (SaaS)-based WAF product, which is available via the Amazon Web Services Partner Program and is offered in a variety of software, hardware and virtual deployment models.

Earlier this year, art of defence launched OpenWAF, a community-based open source project dedicated to developing the world's first open source distributed Web application firewall. The company announced its intent to donate the source code from its own enterprise product to OpenWAF.

Zeus said it will retain the art of defence team, including the founders, CEO Georg Hess and CTO Alexander Meisel, who will head up head up the Zeus effort in Germany from the former art of defence headquarters in Regensburg.

The art of defence acquisition may not be entirely surprising because the two companies have had a close business relationship for the past several years. The Zeus WAF product, Application Firewall Module, was built using technology licensed from art of defence in 2009.

The purchase likely reflects continued demand for Web application firewall technology. WAFs have grown in popularity in recent years, largely because of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard PCI DSS) Requirement 6.6, which mandates that merchants secure their Web applications either with a WAF or with an application code review.

A recent Ponemon Institute survey, commissioned by security vendors Barracuda Networks Inc. and Cenzic Inc., found that among more than 600 IT security practitioners, 74% said Web application security is equal or more critical to other security issues, but only 36% said their organization has adequate governance and policies over the use of insecure Web applications by their end users.

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