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NAI buys Entercept for $120m

Completes intrusion protection line-up

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Network Associates (NAI) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire intrusion protection firm Entercept Security Technologies for $120 million in cash.

Entercept provides host-based intrusion protection products designed to detect and stop security attacks before they cause damage.

Entercept's products use a combination of behavioural rules and signatures to prevent "both known and unknown attacks against servers, databases and applications".

The acquisition complements IntruVert Networks which NAI bought this week for $100 million cash. IntruVert makes network-based intrusion protection appliances.

Entercept has more than 1,100 enterprise and government customers including New Century Mortgage, First Citizens Bank, Corio and Arlington County.

Network Associates expects to finalize the acquisition within the next 45 days.

Last May, Network Associates ceased development of its own CyberCop vulnerability scanner and intrusion detection product and announced plans to merge the technology into its Sniffer network analyser product.

The decision was part of a major reorganisation last year at Network Associates which saw technology from its PGP Security division folded into other Network Associates' products and the sale of the unit's core Gauntlet firewall business to Secure Computing.

With the acquisitions of Entercept and IntruVert Networks, NAI is effectively buying itself back into a market (intrusion detection/intrusion protection) that it had earlier exited.

Intrusion detection products were subject to widespread concerns about false alerts, which have promoted vendors to reinvent the market segment as intrusion prevention. Intrusion prevention products are designed to automatically block a smaller sub-set of well-defined attacks.

These products still need signature updates to block different types of attack, but variations on a particular attack should be automatically blocked. ®

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