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Symantec snags @stake

Consultancy play

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IT security giant Symantec yesterday announced an agreement to acquire security consultancy @stake for an undisclosed amount. Symantec said the deal, expected to close in October, will allow it to expand its existing security services and consultancy businesses.

@stake supplies security auditing and analysis products alongside its core digital security consulting services. Its SmartRisk services address various aspects of IT security, including application security, critical infrastructure, wireless and wired networks, storage systems, and education. @stake's customers include six of the world's top ten financial institutions, four of the world's top ten independent software companies and seven of the world's top ten telecommunications carriers. @stake was founded by members of hacker group l0pht back in 2000.

Symnatec's acquisition of @stake comes after arch rival McAfee bought application security and consultancy firm Foundstone for $86m last month. Foundstone competes with @stake, eEye and others in the application security consultancy biz.

Symantec's purchase of @stake is one of a series of acquisitions by the company over the last two years or so. In July 2002 it acquired security consultancy Riptech for $145m cash. More recently it bought anti-spam specialist Brightmail for $370m. ®

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McAfee buys Foundstone for $86m

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