Microsoft Buys Enterprise Anti-Virus Firm

The company's long-rumored entry into the anti-virus business begins to take shape with the acquisition of Sybari Software.

Microsoft Corp.s big plans to roll out an enterprise-ready anti-virus product took shape Tuesday with the acquisition of Sybari Software Inc.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Sybari comes less than two months after Microsofts purchase of anti-spyware vendor Giant Company Software and is seen as the key to an anti-spyware/anti-virus bundle sold as a renewable subscription service.

That plan, code-named A1, calls for elements of the service to be built directly into future versions of Windows.

With Sybari in its back pocket, Microsoft get a well-respected firm that sells anti-virus, data protection and security functions for networks that support applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes platforms.

Sybari also provides solutions for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services.

Sybari, based East Northport, N.Y., has expanded its product line to include scanning and filtering applications for instant messaging and spam blocking.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read eWEEK Labs Review of Sybaris Advanced Spam Defense system.

In a statement, Mike Nash, president of the Security Business and Technology unit at Microsoft, said the acquisition would provide customers with a server-level anti-virus solution that delivers advanced file and content-filtering capabilities and the use of multiple-scan engines.

In addition, Microsoft said enterprise customers will see greater value from their security investments because a single Sybari product will work with multiple versions of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. "Therefore, when migrating from one version to the next, or deploying multiple versions long term, a company can see a lower cost of maintenance and support for the comprehensive protections that Sybari Softwares technology can provide," company officials said.

Microsoft said the acquisition will fuel a long-term strategy to provide security features for layered defenses, integration with existing infrastructure and protection from malicious threats.

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