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Consolidation's impact on best-of-breed security

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Is Cenzic on Borrowed Time?
The standalone Web application security market has been pared to one.

Cenzic, essentially the remaining standalone Web application security company, says its position has never been stronger and assures its customers that it's not in play.

VP of marketing Mandeep Khera says HP's and IBM's respective acquisitions of SPI Dynamics and Watchfire validate the importance of Web application security, and that Cenzic will remain viable by pursuing partnerships with larger infrastructure vendors that could resell its products or offer them as services.

Cenzic products, unlike SPI and Watchfire, evaluate the security of applications already in production, Khera says, and not necessarily just those in development.

"We are determined to remain focused there; if we merged with a software development lifecycle or application lifecycle development vendor, that [evaluation] at the production cycle never takes place," Khera says.

One customer, David Escalante, director of IT security at Boston College, says he's sticking with Cenzic and doesn't let market pressures determine his organization's investments.

"The market can't sustain 700 companies pitching security products. So what do we do, wait for the market to shake out

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and not buy security products? We can't put ourselves in that situation," he says. "It's hopeless. We'll continue to make our investments. If we have a two-year ROI plan, and our vendor gets gobbled up three months after we make a purchase, we'll find a way to make the software work. We'll continue to use Cenzic and get good use out of it. If Cenzic gets gobbled up, we'll have to move on."

--MICHAEL S. MIMOSO

Cisco's security story is growing too. In January, it scooped up gateway security providers IronPort for $830 million, and recently announced it would integrate Iron-Port's reputational services into Cisco firewalls. Cisco also added XML security gateway company Reactivity to its ranks in February for $135 million. Symantec, meanwhile, has taken the opposite tack and gone from almost exclusively a security player, to nearly a full-fledged infrastructure provider with a range of pickups, including storage leaders Veritas (July 2005), and systems management firms Relicore (February 2006) and Altiris (January).

This was first published in September 2007

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