[ISN] Check Point to acquire NFR Security

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Tue Dec 19 2006 - 23:03:50 PST


By Ellen Messmer
Network World

Check Point Software Technologies on Tuesday announced an agreement to 
acquire privately held NFR Security, a maker of intrusion-detection and 
-prevention systems, for approximately $20 million.

Gil Shwed, founder and CEO of Israel-based Check Point, indicated the 
firm has plans to incorporate NFRs Sentivist IDS and IPS technologies 
into the Check Point line of firewall, VPN and security management 
products. Check Point also plans to continue to offer stand-alone IDS 
and IPS products based on NFRs product line with the Check Point 
InterSpect internal security gateway.

We will integrate NFRs technologies into our unified security 
architecture to provide the industrys broadest and best-managed security 
solutions, Shwed said, adding there is no timeline for doing so.

The acquisition of Rockville, Md.-based NFR Security, founded a decade 
ago by IDS pioneer Marcus Ranum, follows Check Points failure earlier 
this year to complete the acquisition of IDS and IPS vendor Sourcefire. 
That deal ran into opposition from the multiagency federal Committee on 
Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which objected to 
Sourcefire, whose systems are used in the U.S. military, being acquired 
by a non-U.S. firm.

Check Point said it already has obtained regulatory approvals related to 
NFR Security and expects the deal to close by year-end.

We have passed through a similar process with CFIUS, said Shwed, who 
added Check Point already has received CFIUS approval for buying NFR 

Shwed said he didnt understand entirely why NFR Security received CFIUS 
approval but Sourcefire did not, but he added it simply might have to do 
with the political situation a year ago when Check Point applied to be 
approved to buy Sourcefire. A year ago, they wanted more time to work 
with the issues, he noted.

NFR Security, which has 22 employees, does not publish figures related 
to its earnings. While not discussing NFR Securitys exact earnings, 
Shwed acknowledged NFR isnt a big money-maker, but it isnt losing money. 
Its at least breaking even. Shwed said the majority of the employees are 
expected to join Check Point.

Check Point expects NFR Security products to be available on the Check 
Point price list and via resellers early in the first quarter of 2007. 
The Sentivist IPS works at speeds from 100Mbps to 4Gbps, with a 10Gbps 
product expected to be available next year.

Gartner analyst John Pescatore said the NFR Security acquisition is 
clearly a replacement for the failed merger with Sourcefire.

Check Point buying NFR Security makes sense, said Pescatore. Check Point 
definitely needed the intrusion-prevention capabilities. They have what 
they called InterSpect, but it wasnt working in the market. They werent 
succeeding in IPS.

In contrast, Check Point competitors including Cisco and Juniper already 
have been building IPS into their firewalls, said Pescatore.

NFR Security was one of the last of the traditional IDS vendors to get 
into intrusion prevention, Pescatore pointed out. But NFR Securitys 
products and technologies, while not widely deployed, are well 

Pescatore said the merger between Check Point and NFR Security will 
probably work out well because NFR Security has good technologies that 
can be combined with Check Points strength in firewalls and management.


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