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Symantec buys Gideon to bow before government idols

Slaps some SCAP on the grill

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Symantec intends to boost the risk-management wares it sells to the public sector by scooping up privately-held Gideon Technologies.

Symantec said on Tuesday that the acquisition will expand its slate of products that provide validated configuration of security content automation protocol (SCAP) and its vulnerability-checking tools.

SCAP combines a number of open standards used to communicate software flaws and security issues. It's used by government agencies in automation of vulnerability management and security measurements. The US government built the National Vulnerability Database as a repository for security issues using SCAP.

"As the US Government continues to make cyber security of our country's public and private infrastructure a priority, Symantec will support public sector customers with standards-based solutions that meet their complex compliance requirements with the highest degree of accuracy," Symantec's public sector chief Gigi Schumm said in a statement.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Symantec said that Gideon's SecureFusion software will be rolled into the Symantec Management Platform (formerly known as Altiris). Symantec acquired Altiris, a maker of software for managing PCs, servers, mobiles, and other connected devices on a company network, for $830m in 2007.

The company expects the deal to close by the end of March. ®

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