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Network Associates Buying Into Intrusion Prevention

The Internet-security firm is picking up IntruVert for $100 million.
Internet security vendor Network Associates Inc. says it will buy privately held IntruVert Networks, which develops network-based intrusion-protection software, for $100 million in cash.

IntruVert's IntruShield products help block both old and new network attacks using "signatures," which identify and block known attacks, and anomaly detection, which attempts to identify and block new attacks. IntruShield also helps thwart denial-of-service attacks.

The intrusion-prevention market, for both networks and servers and desktops, has been largely dominated by many small security vendors, but it has caught the attention of larger security companies in recent months. In late January, Cisco Systems acquired Okena Inc. for $154 million. Okena made intrusion-prevention apps that protect both desktops and servers.

In August, Internet security appliance maker NetScreen Technologies Inc. spent $40.3 million to acquire OneSecure Inc. for its intrusion-detection and -prevention capabilities.

"There certainly is a lot of interest in this market," says Pete Lindstrom, research director at Spire Security. Network Associates will benefit from the acquisition, he says. "IntruVert's ability to combine multiple methods of identifying attacks makes it a valuable tool. In a lot of ways, network intrusion prevention is the next generation firewall," he says.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, but Network Associates says it expects the deal to close within 45 days.