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McAfee acquires SafeBoot for endpoint encryption

McAfee is acquiring endpoint encryption vendor SafeBoot Corp. in a $350 million deal to bolster the antivirus vendor's mobile device security software.

Antivirus maker McAfee on Monday acquired data encryption and access control vendor SafeBoot Corp. in a $350 million...

deal that would bolster McAfee's endpoint security offerings.

SafeBoot, headquartered in Naples, Fla., develops encryption and access management software for PCs, laptops, PDAs, removable storage drives and other portable devices. The company's network software enables administrators to encrypt files and folders on local hard disks, and file servers. The software comes with a central Web-based management interface for policy management, remote upgrades and updates, and a scripting tool.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee said it plans to add SafeBoot's technologies to fill out its Security Risk Management strategy. A new data protection product business unit will be headed by SafeBoot CEO Gerhard Watzinger. Watzinger will oversee combining SafeBoot technologies with McAfee's data loss prevention software. SafeBoot's technology would be sold as part of McAfee's Data Loss Prevention and ePolicyOrchestrator management suite.

McAfee said it plans to target the small and midsize business and consumer markets with the combined offering.

"This combination will enable McAfee customers to deploy encryption technology that is integrated with McAfee security solutions, while providing SafeBoot customers with the ability to integrate McAfee products into their current SafeBoot deployment," the company said in a statement.

The acquisition reflects the larger trend of consolidation in the IT security market, as standalone security vendors struggle to survive and big IT infrastructure providers use acquisitions to integrate more security into its product development lifecycles. In August, Novell acquired network access control vendor Senforce for endpoint security to develop an endpoint management suite.

McAfee has been making some moves to bolster its product offerings and some security experts have lauded McAfee's recent product changes as a model for other security vendors to follow as they fight to stay relevant in an increasingly saturated market.

It introduced a Total Protection service designed to combine and manage all the elements of a corporate security system through a single console and agent platform. Total Protection includes antivirus for all tiers of the network, as well as antispyware, antispam, a desktop firewall, host intrusion prevention and a complete network access control system.

In May, the company also launched a new intrusion prevention system (IPS) for 10-gigabit Ethernet networks that supports IPV 6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).

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  • McAfee launches IPS for 10g networks, but is IT ready? McAfee unveiled a new IPS offering for 10-gigabit Ethernet networks and announced the upgrade and integration of several other products. One analyst offers a mixed assessment.
  • McAfee names new CEO: Dave DeWalt has been named the new president and CEO of McAfee Inc., which has been licking its wounds in the wake of a stock option scandal and other problems.
  • McAfee: Malware all about ID theft: The use of keylogger technology is surging and there's been a 100-fold rise in phishing attacks, according to a new report from McAfee.

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