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EMC acquires Network Intelligence, closes RSA deal

The consolidation wave continues to build momentum as EMC buys SEM vendor Network Intelligence for $175 million.

EMC Corp. on Monday took another step into the security market when it agreed to pay $175 million to acquire Network Intelligence Corp., a maker of security event management solutions. This is the second major security purchase for the storage giant, coming on the same day that EMC announced the closing of its acquisition of RSA Security Inc.

EMC will use its security assets to create a new security division, which will be headed by Art Coviello, RSA's former CEO. The division will use the RSA brand as the overarching brand for all of the company's security products, and will be headquartered in Bedford, Mass., site of RSA's main offices. The security division also will retain its own sales, marketing and research and development teams. Jack Sweeney, Network Intelligence's current CEO, will run NIC as a business unit within the security division.

EMC's recent buying spree is another sign that the consolidation trend in the security industry is far from over, and may in fact just be getting started. While some of the biggest names in the industry, including RSA and Internet Security Systems Inc., have been purchased in recent months, there are still dozens and dozens of smaller security companies with valuable technology that likely will prove attractive to a larger suitor at some point.

Many large vendors, notably Symantec Corp., McAfee Inc. and CA, have been quite active in the mergers and acquisitions market in recent years, and all have said that acquisitions will continue to play a large part in their strategies in the future.

Network Intelligence, based in Westwood, Mass., is in a very competitive and crowded market, ripe for consolidation. Big players such as ArcSight Inc., netForensics Inc. and NetIQ Corp. face a crop of smaller vendors, including Consul Risk Management Inc., Intellitactics Inc., Tenable Network Security and others. Each takes a slightly different approach to the problem of collecting, normalizing and analyzing all of the data created by security devices on a network, but their goal is the same: to present administrators with a clear view of their networks and give them information on how to address problems.

Network Intelligence's enVision product is an appliance-based offering, and the company has worked closely for years with EMC as a partner.

"This is a significant advancement in Network Intelligence's life. EMC recognizes our technology differentiators and the industry leading position we have in the market, and are eager to put their vast resources behind us," Sweeney said in a letter to customers posted on the company's site Monday. "Moreover, they share our vision for SIEM, and are willing to help us expand the value of 'all the data' especially as it is such a close fit with their information-centric security strategy."

EMC officials in Hopkinton, Mass., said they expect the NIC acquisition to close by next week.

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