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Trustwave acquires M86 Security for SaaS, managed security services

The company, which has made many acquisitions in the last five years, faces integration challenges as it moves more broadly into SaaS, managed security services, analyst says.

Trustwave, which has broadly built out its portfolio of security products and services over the last five years, has announced its plans to acquire M86 Security, adding email, Web application security and Web filtering technology to its lineup.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In some respects their acquisition strategy by bringing all these technologies together under one roof is impressive.

Pete Lindstrom, research director
Spire Security

The Chicago-based security vendor, known for its PCI DSS compliance services, said it would add M86 Security’s Web and email security products, as well as its secure Web gateway to its product offerings. The company is also adding to its SpiderLabs penetration testers and incident response team, integrating M86 Security Labs, which includes some Web application security experts and email security researchers.

Irvine, Calif.-based M86 Security is a combination of Marshal email security gateway and 8e6 Technologies, which had a URL filtering appliance. The company acquired Web Security Gateway vendor Finjan Inc. in 2009. Finjan, which sold Web Software as a Service (SaaS) technology was regarded for its behavior-based malware detection technology.

Trustwave appears to be picking up targets of opportunity rather than a cohesive set of integrated technologies, said Pete Lindstrom, research director at Malvern, Penn.-based Spire Security. Since Trustwave merged with Ambiron LLC in 2005, the company has gone on a shopping spree. Its acquisition list includes data leakage prevention (DLP) vendor Vericept, network access control vendor Mirage Networks, and data encryption player BitArmor Systems Inc., among others. The company also acquired Web application firewall (WAF) vendor Breach Security, and security information and event management (SIEM) vendor Intellitactics in 2010.

“It’s not clear to me how all these pieces fit together; it just doesn’t scream cohesion to me,” Lindstrom said. “They’re clearly building out the technical side, but as far as integrating these with other products, I have a hard time getting to any notion of obviousness here.”

Lindstom said Trustwave has said it intends to build out its product set to support its managed services and Software as a Service business. Companies like Zscaler Inc. and Barracuda Networks’ (Purewire) offer cloud-based content filtering and malware protection. Trustwave has said it aims to be like Milpitas, Calif.-based FireEye Inc., which also has a broad security portfolio, Lindstrom said.

“In some respects their acquisition strategy by bringing all these technologies together under one roof is impressive,” he said.

Leo J. Cole, chief marketing officer of Trustwave, acknowledged that the vendor is filling product categories to offer a wide variety of compliance, application security, network security and data security as either on-premise, in the cloud, or as a managed security service. The acquisition of M86 Security fills Trustwave’s need for Web security products, he said.

The company plans to make its Trustkeeper Enterprise software the central management console where the various pieces can be integrated and maintained, according to Cole. M86 executives will be initially joining Trustwave through the acquisition. The company plans to keep M86’s New Zealand and Israel offices open, Cole said. 

“We’re not end-of-life’ing any products,” Cole said. “We’re going to increase development and support with an additional investment to make this a strong acquisition.”

In addition, Trustwave plans to keep M86’s Partner Focus channel partner program, combining it with its current program.

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