Symantec to buy SecurityFocus, Riptech and Recourse

Security vendor Symantec has announced three high-profile acquisitions. It will acquire SecurityFocus, Riptech and Recourse...

Security vendor Symantec has announced three high-profile acquisitions. It will acquire SecurityFocus, Riptech and Recourse Technologies for a total of about $355m (£214m) in cash, the company said.

Symantec sells antivirus software, personal firewalls, security appliances, utilities and other products. The acquisitions, all expected to close in mid-August, will take Symantec strongly into additional, new markets and, potentially, make it the dominant player in those areas, according to an analyst.

Symantec will acquire SecurityFocus for $75m (£48m), offers a security event monitoring and alert service, as well as a threat database. Security focus also hosts a number of high-profile security e-mail lists, including Bugtraq. The company's offerings will be integrated with Symantec's antivirus research and response capabilities.

Riptech provides managed security services for firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virtual private networks and other security products. Symantec bought the company for $145m (£93m).

Recourse is a vendor of intrusion detection systems (IDS), including the ManHunt and ManTrap products. Symantec already sells its own IntruderAlert IDS product. Symantec will aquire the company for $135m (£86m).

Symantec also reported $316m (£202m) in revenue for the second quarter of 2002, up from $228m in the same quarter last year.

Markets reacted favourably to the news with Symantec's stock (SYMC) trading at $34.81 (£22.26) per share, up over its closing price of $33.10 (£21.17).

"This positions them clearly to own the entire threat management space," which includes IDS and security intelligence and monitoring services, according to Peter Lindstrom, senior security strategies analyst at the Hurwitz Group.

"This is Symantec's major play into owning threat management," he said.

The deals bring Symantec a number of "intriguing" products and technologies, he said.

Symantec's moves also leave IDS powerhouse Internet Security Systems (ISS) as the only other major threat management player and puts Symantec rival Network Associates (NAI) at a disadvantage, he said. That situation could lead to further consolidation, he added.

"It looks like NAI needs to buy ISS to create the space we're looking for," he said, referring to the market.

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