Market watchers observed that while EMC may have little interest in marketing RSAs SecureID product line independently, especially its consumer applications, the firm should find use for enough of the intellectual property it has gained to offset any related loss of those product sales. "As with any acquisition, particularly of this size, theres not going to be a 100 percent perfect fit, but some of these pieces will be kept even if they are not within EMCs sweet spot," said Paul Stamp, an analyst with Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass. "SecureID is a highly profitable business, but there are technologies coming along in other companies that may replace it; in the wider concept of data authentication, RSAs technologies fit very well with EMCs current strategy.""Theres a growing market for data security that hasnt been addressed sufficiently; users are asking for it and large IT vendors need to respond to that," he said. "I could easily see a Symantec or Microsoft going out to acquire that technology, and that reflects a change in customer demands across the IT industry." Stamp said that the EMC-RSA deal points to the trend of stand-alone security technologies becoming integrated pieces of IT providers core products. Managing customer policies for data access and protecting information with encryption fit squarely into EMCs overall strategy, the analyst said. Other experts agreed that the RSA deal was a key move for EMC, but questioned whether the storage company will retain all the technologies it acquired via the merger. "EMC was clearly desperate for some sort of security play and needed to get storage encryption, and they get a lot of technical expertise to that end through RSA," said Peter Firstbrook, an analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner. "What will happen with the rest of the business seems less clear; I wouldnt be surprised to see some of the pieces sold off to one of the larger access management providers, such as a CA, Microsoft, Novell or Sun." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
If companies pursuing ILM are trying to get a better handle on which of their employees are granted access to data encryption tools, there may be no better fit than RSA, the analyst said. However, if EMC does look to sell off SecureID, it would likely find many interested buyers, including Symantec and Microsoft, according to Stamp.