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Secure Computing has acquired the Gauntlet firewall and VPN business from Network Associates (NAI) for an undisclosed amount.

Network Associates customers will be "transitioned" to Secure Computing, developers of the Sidewinder Firewall and VPN Gateway, under the deal which sees the transfer of NAI's technology, along with related customer support contracts. Secure Computing takes on approx. 4,000 Gauntlet customers and 100 resellers.

Tim McGurran, Secure Computing president and chief operating officer, told us that the company will visit major Gauntlet customers to explain the deal (which completes next week), and gave us a broad idea on its strategy to combine the products.

"Two years from now it'll be very disappointing if we're supporting two standalone application level firewalls. We intend to bring the best of both products, such as the embedded McAfee anti-virus software in Gauntlet, together in one firewall," he said.

Secure Computing has merge five firewall lines into Sidewinder which give it the experience to manage the technology merger, according to McGurran.

In October last year, NAI announced it was looking for a buyer for its PGP desktop encryption and Gauntlet firewall product lines, as part of a restructure. It announced development would cease on the products for sale (though support would continue). The rest of its PGP Security portfolio was to be integrated into the firm's McAfee and Sniffer product lines.

In announcing the sale of its Gauntlet business today, NAI said that Secure Computing is well positioned to ensure "seamless support transition" for its firewall customers. Gauntlet is number four software firewall in the market with a share of around four per cent of the combined software firewall and appliance market.

Jose Lopez, an industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said the deal is probably good news for customers asNAI was not committed to developing Gauntlet.

"Secure Computing has a good product line but weaker branding, certainly it doesn't have much of a profile in Europe," said Lopez, who added that the acquisition will allow Secure Computing to sell its other products into Gauntlet shops.

Both Secure Computing and Trusted Information Systems, which originally developed Gauntlet prior to an acquisition by NAI in 1998, began life as security firms under contract with the US Government, including the National Security Agency (NSA). ®

Related Stories

Network Associates puts PGP up for sale
Virus plague fails to stem losses at Network Associates
NAI belatedly joins OpenPGP Alliance
PGP creator Zimmerman leaves Network Associates
Gaping hole in NAI's Gauntlet firewall
NY sues NAI so you can say McAfee sucks

External links

Secure Computing acquires Gauntlet Firewall and VPN business from Network Associates

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