December 19, 2006 8:46 AM PST

Check Point to tack on NFR Security

Check Point Software Technologies announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire NFR Security in a deal valued at $20 million.

Under the deal, which is expected to close this month, Check Point plans to integrate NFR's intrusion detection and prevention technologies across its product lines, which include firewall, virtual private network and security management software.

The NFR announcement, which serves to drive Check Point's two-pronged expansion into network security and data security, also gels a new strategy for Check Point.

Historically, the company has favored growing its business by developing its own technologies rather than bulking up via buyouts. But last month, Check Point demonstrated its interest in deal making by touting its $586 million purchase of Protect Data, maker of Pointsec Mobile Technologies.

And in the fall of last year, Check Point announced plans to acquire Sourcefire in a $225 million deal. Like NFR, Sourcefire develops intrusion prevention technology.

"This (NFR) acquisition is an important step in Check Point's leadership strategy," Gil Shwed, Check Point's chief executive, said in a statement. "It is part of our focus on two primary layers: network security as our core platform and our recently announced expansion into data security."

The merger is designed to combine Check Point's SmartDefense with NFR's hybrid detection engine. NFR, based in Rockville, Md., develops technology designed to guard against intrusions such as zero-day attacks and polymorphic buffer overflows.

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Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Sourcefire Inc., data security, network security, security

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Not as strong as buying Sourcefire would have been.
I think that this is probably the weakest of Check Point's recent acquisitions, but I also consider NFR a diamond in the rough that Check Point could polish.
Check Point wanted to buy Sourcefire, and I think that would have been a better purchase. The problem was timing; The deal blew up because of the Dubai ports fiasco.
Check Point realizes that the market can't see their strength with security inside the network, so an acquistion in this area had to happen.
The Pointsec acquisition was sheer brilliance. Combining Pointsec with the Integrity line produces a nice solution to protect data at rest as well as protect data in the network.
It will be interesting to see the dynamics of these acquisitions in terms of who stays and who goes. Will NFR and Pointsec be able to work within the watchful eye of Check Point?
Posted by pmisner (2 comments )
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