McAfee Buys Stonesoft to Bolster Content-Aware Firewall Security
Intel's security subsidiary offers to pay $389 million for next-generation firewall firm Stonesoft, betting that businesses want to pay for stronger security management.McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, will acquire next-generation firewall maker Stonesoft in a deal worth $389 million, the companies said May 6 in a joint statement. The security maker expects the acquisition of the Finnish firm to round out its lineup of security products, giving it a strong contender in the market for content-aware firewalls. Next-generation firewalls inspect network packets going in—and out—of a corporate network to prevent compromise and block the data exfiltration. Stonesoft focuses on blocking sophisticated attacks that use advanced evasion techniques to dodge other defenses. Stonesoft's strong products, knowledge of the market for advanced firewall products and their investigations into evasion techniques make the company valuable, Pat Calhoun, senior vice president and general manager for McAfee's network security business, told eWEEK. "Stonesoft has put a significant amount of resources into research," he said. "The combination of those three elements is what makes them very attractive."
The purchase is not McAfee's first in the network security market. In 2009, the company bought Secure Computing, a maker of firewall, email-security and Web-security products, which itself had bought firewall maker Securify the preceding year. In November 2011, McAfee also purchased security information and event management (SIEM) maker Nitro Security for an undisclosed sum, boosting its ability to give companies better security awareness of their networks.