MS Plans to Buy Secure-Messaging Company FrontBridge

Continuing its security acquisitions, Microsoft moves into the realm of e-mail security.

In more evidence of Microsofts increased interest in security technology, the software company said on Wednesday that it plans to acquire FrontBridge, a provider of secure messaging services, for an undisclosed sum.

Microsoft Corp. plans to use its acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies Inc. to deliver a secure, highly availabile e-mail service that will be marketed to companies with limited IT resources, Microsoft said in a statement.

The news comes on the same day that Finjan Software, a maker of behavior-based detection software, announced that Microsoft had become a minority shareholder and had licensed technology from the company.

FrontBridge, of Marina del Rey, Calif., provides secure messaging services to companies, including anti-virus and spam filtering, policy enforcement and disaster recovery.

Microsoft cited customer demand as a reason for the purchase, saying that FrontBridges distributed network of data centers will allow Microsoft customers to protect their messaging infrastructure and comply with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.)

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about RSS security in Microsofts Longhorn OS.

The FrontBridge service will be a complement to Microsofts Exchange and help customers block threats before they reach the corporate firewall, according to a statement attributed to Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of the Exchange Server Group at Microsoft.

Microsoft has stepped up the pace of progress on security since buying anti-virus technology from GeCAD Software Srl in June 2003.

In December 2004, Microsoft picked up desktop anti-spyware technology from Giant Company Software Inc., which it has re-released as Microsoft AntiSpyware.

In May, the company announced that it was readying a beta release of Windows OneCare, an integrated anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall subscription service for consumers.

Also on Wednesday, Finjan Software Inc., which makes behavior-based content security software, said Microsoft had taken a minority stake in the company and would be licensing Finjan patents for use in Microsoft products.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about Microsofts deal with Finjan Software.

Finjan makes content security appliances that can block attacks from viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs and other malicious code based on behaviors, rather than specific "signatures."

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