Barracuda acquires Purewire expanding Web security reach

The acquisition broadens Barracuda's delivery model for URL filtering and securing Web applications through software as a service (SaaS) and hybrid approaches.

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Barracuda Networks is continuing to broaden its reach with Web application security tools and services this week, announcing the acquisition of fledgling secure Web gateway provider Purewire Inc.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Purewire entered the secure Web gateway market last year offering a software as a service (SaaS)-based alternative to appliances offered by most competitors. The technology offers URL filtering, malicious-code detection and application controls for Web-based applications.

Dean Drako, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks said the goal of the acquisition was to expand Barracuda's delivery model for security services to include appliance, SaaS and hybrid offerings.

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"This combination expands our set of SaaS-based solutions, provides new infrastructure and technology, and creates enormous potential to extend our cloud services across all of our rapidly growing product lines," Drako said in a statement.

Drako said Purewire's co-founders will remain at Barracuda. Mike Van Bruinisse, Purewire's CEO, will serve as vice president of enterprise sales. CTO Paul Judge will become vice president of cloud services and chief research officer.

Barracuda said it would maintain support for Purewire's existing services and invest in product development across the company's SaaS-based platform. Barracuda will also continue to work with Purewire's sales channel partners.

Companies have been primarily adopting secure Web gateway features for the URL filtering technologies. The goal is to blacklist certain websites and gain control over employee Web surfing habits.

The market for the technology is still dominated by appliance vendors, including Websense Inc., antivirus vendors McAfee Inc., Trend Micro Inc. and Sophos Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc. (via its acquisition of IronPort). But most vendors have been adding alternative delivery model for the technology such as a hybrid or SaaS approach.

In January, Barracuda acquired Yosemite Technologies Inc. to expand its backup and recovery service. The company acquired Web firewall appliance maker NetContinuum in 2007.

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