[ISN] Symantec Takes Laissez-Faire Approach

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jul 19 2002 - 09:02:01 PDT

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    July 18, 2002 
    By Dennis Fisher 
    A day after shaking the security industry out of its summer doldrums
    by making three major acquisitions, Symantec Corp. officials said that
    for the time being they have no plans to meddle in how Recourse
    Technologies Inc., Riptech Inc. and SecurityFocus run their
    The companies' respective technologies eventually will be integrated
    wherever makes sense, but they will continue to be sold as is in the
    near term, said Gail Hamilton, executive vice president of product
    delivery and response at Symantec, based in Cupertino, Calif.
    "Over time, for example, we'll do things like integrate [Recourse's]
    ManHunt with our security management system," Hamilton said. "But we
    intend to run them as stand-alone businesses for the foreseeable
    SecurityFocus, for example, will continue to maintain its popular
    security mailing lists and portal Web site.
    That's not to say that there won't be some changes, however. There
    will likely be some job losses in areas where there are redundancies
    or overlap, such as administrative and back-office departments,
    Hamilton said. But Symantec anticipates that all of the top executives
    and other key employees from the three companies will remain once the
    acquisitions are finalized, which should be some time in August.
    The CEOs of Recourse, Riptech and SecurityFocus will all become vice
    presidents and will report to Hamilton. But they will each retain
    direct control of their respective product lines and will take on
    other responsibilities where appropriate.
    Symantec on Wednesday agreed to pay $355 million in cash for the three
    security companies.
    Executives at SecurityFocus were surprised by Symantec's interest in
    acquiring their firm.
    "We absolutely were not looking or being shopped around," said Arthur
    Wong, co-founder and CEO of SecurityFocus, based in San Mateo, Calif.,
    which sells threat management solutions and maintains a huge database
    of vulnerability information. "We've been getting good traction,
    winning new customers and we were actually getting to profitability
    ahead of schedule. It was just a really good fit with Symantec."
    Wong added that Symantec officials have assured him that SecurityFocus
    will retain its independence and ability to publish objective
    information about vulnerabilities, including those found in Symantec
    products. The company's Bugtraq mailing list is perhaps the most
    well-known and widely read security list on the Internet and is often
    the first place that researchers publish information on new
    "The charter for SecurityFocus, our community and Bugtraq is exactly
    the same," he said.
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