[ISN] Gartner's take on Symantec's spending spree

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jul 23 2002 - 00:18:15 PDT

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    Symantec Bolsters Security Offerings With More Acquisitions 
    19 July 2002 
    Richard Stiennon   
    Matthew Easley   
    Kelly Kavanagh   
    John Pescatore 
    Symantec bought four security companies, three of which may spur 
    worries about product independence. Although the deals may trigger 
    more merger and acquisition activity, Gartner sees no significant 
    market shift.
    On 17 July 2002, Symantec announced it acquired three companies - 
    Recourse Technologies, Riptech and SecurityFocus - for a total of 
    approximately $355 million in cash. On 2 July 2002, Symantec also 
    bought Mountain Wave for $20 million in cash.
    First Take 
    A slump in venture valuations is a timely opportunity for an industry
    leader, such as Symantec, to snap up good technology. The acquired
    companies will gain from access to Symantec's capital, development
    capabilities, sales channels and the power of its brand. Although
    Symantec gains by bolstering its roster of products and services, it
    still needs to convince enterprises that Riptech, Security Focus and
    Mountain Wave will not be driven by Symantec's product line.
    Riptech was a leader in the North American managed service security
    provider (MSSP) market (see "2H01 Managed Security Service Provider
    Magic Quadrant," M-15-2949). With secure-operations-center assets it
    picked up from its acquisition of Axent in 2000, Gartner believes that
    Symantec's combined MSSP business will represent one of the largest in
    North America. Riptech customers should expect continued high levels
    of service. Symantec's challenge is to avoid channel conflict that
    arises from being a firewall, intrusion detection system (IDS),
    antivirus and (with Mountain Wave) monitoring software vendor while
    trying to maintain a service arm that is product-independent.
    Recourse Technologies has useful tools - its ManTrap "honeypot" (a 
    decoy system to lure and learn from attackers) and ManHunt high-speed 
    IDS appliance, which fills a hole in Symantec's product line. However, 
    Symantec must develop an enterprise sales story for network IDS at a 
    time when the overall IDS market is heading toward replacement by 
    intrusion prevention techniques.
    SecurityFocus is a leading source of independent security information 
    on the Web. Security intelligence is a core competency, and one 
    Gartner believes Symantec should lead in, but it will never be a 
    high-revenue market. Symantec gains by acquiring solid intellectual 
    property and a fit with its antivirus labs. But the challenge is to 
    maintain SecurityFocus as an independent, journalistic source for data 
    on all security products.
    Gartner advises enterprises to purchase best-of-breed security 
    products that deliver the best return on investments, meaning better 
    security. Although consolidation will likely continue in the security 
    market, and other security companies will be compelled to shadow 
    Symantec's moves, Gartner doesn't believe that there are any new 
    reasons to adopt a one-stop-shopping approach for security offerings.
    Analytical Sources: Richard Stiennon, Matt Easley, Kelly Kavanagh and 
    John Pescatore, Gartner Research
    Recommended Reading and Related Research
    * "Symantec Must Resolve Overlaps After Buying Mountain Wave" 
      (FT-173343). Symantec must rationalize its firewall and IDS product 
      line and move toward intrusion protection. By John Pescatore, Matt 
      Easley and Richard Stiennon 
    * "Enterprise IT Security Management Defined" (DF-15-7763). Gartner's   
      model helps enterprises evaluate security management software and 
      services. By Mark Nicolett, John Pescatore, Matt Easley, Alain Dang 
      Van Mien and Richard Stiennon 
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