NAI to Sell Gauntlet Biz

 
 
By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2002-02-13
 
 
 

NEW YORK--Network Associates Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to sell its Gauntlet firewall and VPN business to Secure Computing Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

The sale is part of the ongoing reconstruction of Network Associates that CEO George Samenuk undertook when he joined the company in late 2000.

As part of the agreement, Secure Computing, based in San Jose, Calif., will take over all of the customer-support contracts for the Gauntlet, VPN and E-ppliance products.

The acquisition is a curious one for Secure Computing, whose Sidewinder firewall and VPN gateway product is closely related to the Gauntlet offerings. Both firewalls were originally developed with large enterprise customers in mind and are widely deployed in the government and financial services sectors.

In announcing the sale at the companys annual meeting with financial analysts here, Samenuk stressed that the amount of money generated by the Gauntlet sale was a secondary consideration during the search for a buyer.

"Were not getting a lot for Gauntlet," he said. "We wanted to make sure that the customers we had would be transitioned to a good company that would take care of them."

Gauntlet and the VPN software were part of the PGP division of NAI, which the Santa Clara, Calif., company announced last fall that it would close. Some of the PGP products were folded into the companys McAfee and Sniffer divisions, but company officials said at the time of the announcement that they didnt see a good fit within NAI for the enterprise firewall and VPN products.

For its part, Secure Computing is gaining a pool of about 4,000 Gauntlet customers who are natural prospects for the companys other security products.

"Secure Computing is the natural choice for Gauntlet customers," said Charles Kolodgy, research manager for Internet security software at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. "Sidewinder and Gauntlet are true peers in the enterprise firewall market because customers demand high-assurance application-level security, high-speed performance and ease of administration."

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