Big Fish, Little Fish

The industry is rife with tales of big fish gobbling up little fish. That's not always a bad thing, but it can sometimes leave you wondering what the fate of the little fish will be over the long term (see "Unfair Fight?" January 2007).

One recent gobbling actually did not involve the big fish from Redmond. Symantec Corp., also a West Coast variety of big fish, recently acquired Altiris. While it might not be completely accurate to call Altiris a little fish, it was gobbled up nevertheless: The bright yellow Symantec fish, which is typically found in or near the coastal regions of Cupertino, just signed an agreement to gobble up the freshwater Altiris.

Soon-to-be-former Altiris stockholders are expected to get $33 per share of Altiris common stock in cash, so the final transaction value is approximately $830 million net. That's a big net. Of course, the transaction has to be approved up and down the food chain, but it's expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year.

In other Symantec news, the company just released Veritas Backup Reporter 6.0. Backup Reporter lets you verify backup service level compliance and run backups as a shared IT service. As part of the process, Backup Reporter lets you keep a close watch on data management, backup consolidation and reporting from heterogeneous environments. Since Backup Reporter can run backup and recovery as a discrete operation, it's well suited as a tool for managed service providers. It can identify resource usage across different customer environments and you can use that data for billing purposes.

Whale of a Snack
Speaking of big fish gobbling up little fish, if you were left scratching your head wondering why the Redmond big fish gobbled up Whale Communications, here's your answer.

As this issue went to press, Microsoft launched its Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) 2007. This SSL VPN solution combines technology acquired from Whale Communications with Microsoft's ISA Server firewall. Integrating the two provides a consolidated appliance for network perimeter defense, remote access, endpoint security management and application-layer protection.

As part of this release, Microsoft is revising its pricing and licensing model for the IAG to make it easier for small to medium sized fish to protect their reefs with Redmond's SSL VPN. Whale had a relatively complex licensing model, so you'll be relieved to hear that Microsoft is moving to its standard model.

Big Dog, Little Dog
It's not just fish gobbling up one another. Shavlik Technologies LLC has just acquired all rights to St. Bernard Software's UpdateEXPERT product line. Shavlik assumes full responsibility for care and feeding of all existing UpdateEXPERT customers.

Patching and remediation continues to be a growing market, and a new report from IDC indicates the security and vulnerability management market is expected to grow nearly 17 percent each year, reaching $3.4 billion by 2010. By working together, Shavlik and St. Bernard have put more teeth into their comprehensive and non-intrusive assessment, expansive security databases and integrated security configuration, policy and compliance management.

And talk about eating your own dog food. As part of this agreement, St. Bernard will soon migrate its own internal security assessment and remediation process to Shavlik's NetChk Protect 5.8. Both companies are in the process of finalizing other long-term product plans, so stay tuned for more details and more announcements from both Shavlik and St. Bernard over the next few months.

Beware of Dolphins
More news from the aquatic world: The official Web site of Dolphin Stadium was recently compromised with malicious code. Websense Security Labs discovered the breach. The Dolphin Stadium Web site had been deluged with a huge number of visitors, as it was the home of Super Bowl XLI.

Websense found a link to a malicious Javascript file inserted into the header of the site's front page. Site visitors would inadvertently execute the script. The script then attempted to exploit two vulnerabilities, both of which would then try to download and execute a malicious file. Websense notified the site's owners and operators, but as of the Friday before the Super Bowl it was still compromised. Who would have thought the Dolphins would pose a threat to the Colts or the Bears?

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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