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3Com is to acquire TippingPoint Technologies, a publicly held supplier of intrusion prevention systems, for $430m cash. It says teh acquisition "further demonstrates its commitment to delivering secure, converged networks".

TippingPoint is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and employs 125 people. Post-acquisition it will be a division of 3Com.

Last month, the company reported Q3 2005 revenues of $9.7m (up 44 per cent from $6.7m in Q2 2005) and a net loss of $1.8m for the three months up to October 31. TippingPoint also has $29.6m in the bank, and it operates in aa high-growth market.

Even so, 3Com is paying a hefty premium to buy into a market already staked out by Cisco and Juniper, its principal competitors, which have both bought intrusion prevention suppliers in recent months.

Firewalls alone are not enough to thwart today's more sophisticated range of attacks, while Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) detect and record attacks, but do not block them. Vendors are coming up with a variety of approaches to deliver all-encompassing security.

Firms such as Arbor Networks are designing products that reconfigure switches and routers in response to network-based denial of service attacks. Tipping Point has developed dedicated intrusion prevention appliances to provide in-line protection against a range of internet attacks against IP-based voice and data networks.

TippingPoint's UnityOne Intrusion Prevention Systems offer automated protection against cyber attack, with technology that can scale to gigabit speeds. UnityOne protects routers, switches, DNS (Domain Name Servers) and other critical infrastructure from targeted attacks and traffic anomalies. It enables users to throttle bandwidth-throttling applications, such as Kazaa, to free resources for more important applications. ®

Related stories

TippingPoint launches European offensive
Cisco buys anti-DDoS firm
Juniper security push
Enterprise security spend to hit $6bn
3Com issues profit warning

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