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M86 picks up Finjan to tackle web-based threats

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Content security firm M86 Security has acquired web security appliance firm Finjan in a deal designed to allow it to offer better protection against both email and web-based threats. Terms of the agreement, announced Tuesday, were undisclosed.

The deal adds Finjan’s line of secure web gateway and security as a service products to M86 Security’s portfolio of email and web security products. M86 has bought Finjan’s ops, products and technology, which merge into M86 Security with immediate effect.

Finjan's labs in Netanya, Israel will be maintained in the combined organisation, which will be known as M86 Security. The combined firm will maintain M86's corporate HQ in California and main offices in Basingstoke, UK.

M86 Security was formed by the November 2008 merger of New Zealand-based Marshal and 8e6 Technologies. The purchase of Finjan follows the March 2009 acquisition of behaviour-based malware detection firm Avinti. The latest deal will see M86's ranks swell from 250 to 315.

John Vigouroux, chief executive officer at M86 Security, moved over to M86 in April 2009 after previously serving as president and chief exec of Finjan. M86 recently hired Werner Thalmeier as vice president of product management from the same role at Finjan. It's therefore not too hard to see where the idea to merge the two firms originated.

Nick Hawkins, vice president of Sales for M86 in EMEA, described the deal as a technology-based acquisition that will see the integration of Finjan's secure Web gateway into the M86 product line. He said there wasn't much product overlap between the portfolios of the two firms, adding that existing channel relationships and product development plans will be maintained.

The deal, which follows a week after Cisco announced plans to buy web-based security services firm ScanSafe, is the latest example of consolidation in the information security market. Cisco and Microsoft were both minority investors in Finjan, which started off life back in 1996 focusing on Java and ActiveX threats before diversifying to focus on web-based attacks more generally.

It's unclear where the M86 Security acquisition leaves Microsoft investment in Finjan, since M86 execs declined to respond to questions on this point or on how the deal was financed. ®

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