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McAfee, IBM gobble rival security-intelligence firms

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McAfee and IBM have both bought into the expanding security intelligence market with the acquisition of start-ups NitroSecurity and Q1 Labs, respectively. Financial terms on both deals, announced Tuesday, were undisclosed.

Both NitroSecurity and Q1 Labs make software tools that allow enterprises to make sense of security logs collated from multiple sources (such as firewalls, anti-virus defences and IDS/IPS systems) in order to spot incoming hacking attacks and malware outbreaks. HP bought the most established vendor in the market segment, ArcSight, for $1.5bn last year.

IBM intends to add Q1 Labs to its newly established Security Systems division, which will integrate various security software, appliances, lab offerings and services under a single umbrella. Q1 Labs is the latest in 10 security acquisitions IBM has made over the last decade, and one of the most notable. The deal will help IBM to compete in the mainstream security technology products marketplace and not just in services and consultancy, its traditional sphere of expertise.

NitroSecurity and Q1 Labs competed in what some analysts refer so as the security information and event management (SIEM) market. The segment grew 15 per cent from $858m to $987m last year, according to Gartner.

Veteran analyst Clive Longbottom of Quocirca told El Reg that whether NitroSecurity and Q1 Labs continue to compete will depend on how the new owners position their respective technologies. ®

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