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HP buys web security firm SPI

Crosses swords with IBM's Watchfire

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Two weeks ago, Hewlett-Packard stared jealously across the street as IBM pulled into the driveway with a brand new web application security specialist company. Not to be outclassed by a neighbor, HP has bought one too.

SPI Dynamics

Hewlett-Packard inked an agreement to acquire security firm SPI Dynamics to match Big Blue's Watchfire purchase. The company will use SPI to strengthen security in business systems such as e-commerce websites or financial and supply chain applications.

Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.

SPI Dynamics is a privately-held, Atlanta-based security firm with about 140 employees. It claims to serve more than 1,000 customers in the federal government, financial services and health care industries. When the deal is completed, SPI will be assimilated into the software unit within HP's Technology Solutions Group.

"For more than five years we have partnered with HP, so I am very pleased to be joining forces to better serve our customers and partners," SPI CEO Brian Cohen said.

IBM may have just set off a purchasing frenzy for big players eager to bolster security in their developer tools. The market is swimming with privately held security firms — and companies such as Cisco, EMC, Oracle and Sun tend to swallow other companies rather than develop in-house code. ®

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