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12/16/2003
06:20 PM
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VeriSign Reportedly Buying Guardent

The privately held Guardent is known for its open-service delivery platform, dubbed TeraGuard.

VeriSign Inc. is buying managed-security-services firm Guardent Inc., sources close to VeriSign say. Neither Guardent or VeriSign have confirmed the deal, but sources say the acquisition would be valued at about $140 million. Managed-security services has been a big push of VeriSign's this year

The privately held Guardent is known for its open-service delivery platform, dubbed TeraGuard. TeraGuard can manage multiple types of intrusion-detection systems, firewalls, and vulnerability-assessment software, including those sold by Check Point, Cisco, Internet Security Systems, and NetScreen, along with open-source intrusion-detection software Snort and vulnerability assessment software Nessus.

The buyout would follow VeriSign's sale of its domain-name-registration business, Network Solutions Inc., to the venture-capital firm Pivotal Private Equity in October, for about $100 million--$60 million in cash and a $40 million senior subordinated note. Network Solutions sells domain-name registrations as well as E-mail, site, and hosting services. VeriSign said the sale of the unit enabled it to focus on Internet and telecom-network services.

And in June, VeriSign unveiled its Fraud Protection Services, which uses credit-account numbers, names, and the Internet addresses of the parties in a transaction to determine whether the transaction is fraudulent. Fraud protection complements VeriSign's online-payment services.

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