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Novell to acquire Senforce for endpoint security

Novell is acquiring Senforce, an early network access control vendor, to integrate its endpoint security features and develop an endpoint management suite.

Novell today announced the acquisition of endpoint security vendor, Senforce Technologies Inc., in a deal that would integrate Senforce into an endpoint security suite.

This is really a move for [Novell] to become one of the players that can compete against Altiris and others.
Natalie Lambert
senior analystForrester Research Inc.

Terms of the deal were not released. Novell and Senforce launched ZENworks Endpoint Security Management, during a recent partnership development. The endpoint software package was designed for corporate networks.

Draper, Utah-based Senforce was one of the early vendors developing network access control (NAC) technologies. Senforce, and a host of other smaller vendors, such as Elemental Security Inc., and Lockdown Networks Inc., have been competing with Microsoft, Juniper Networks Inc., McAfee Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc., to sell NAC systems. Each vendor configures NAC differently.

In recent years it has extended to securing the endpoint with removable device and wireless control features, application control, encryption, and personal firewalls.

Interest in deploying NAC is ultimately prompting vendors to make acquisitions to develop an endpoint security strategy, said Natalie Lambert, a senior analyst for Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. Ultimately, NAC will fold into client management products to be the access control solution dictated around policies that in the client management suite, Lambert said.

"A lot of endpoint security functionality and tools are being handled by the operations group," Lambert said. "Customers are demanding this because they now have one set of staffers managing this area and they want single set of tools to be able to best manage their environments."

Prior to the acquisition, Novell shared a close partnership with Securewave for application device control. Securewave was acquired by Patchlink in June.

A lot of the major vendors have made acquisitions to bolster device security and data leakage protection when devices enter a corporate network. Symantec jumped in early, acquiring a number of multiple point solutions including Sygate in 2005. McAfee acquired Onigma and several other point solutions in 2006.

"This is really a move for [Novell] to become one of the players that can compete against Altiris and others," Lambert said. "This is something they should have done early and hopefully they've done early enough to be a competitor."

Altiris is a provider of IT service-oriented management software with an emphasis on network security management.

Senforce's ZENworks Endpoint Security Management software conducts automated encryption policy enforcement at the desktop, regardless of whether a user is on or off-line. The software also includes tools for removable device security, personal firewalls, wireless security and application control to secure the network.

"Combining Senforce's technology with Novell's existing systems and resource management solutions creates a new level of control and protection for our customers, Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager at Novell said in a statement.

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