SonicWall is expanding its security expertise into e-mail security with the US$31 million purchase of MailFrontier, an e-mail security specialist.
MailFrontier sells software and appliances that filter e-mail for phishing attempts, viruses and spam.
SonicWall announced no short-term plans to integrate MailFrontier into its existing appliances, but spoke of having an e-mail security offering to flesh out its existing line of security gear. "SonicWall will integrate its existing effort in building message security solutions with MailFrontier's technology roadmap."
SonicWall makes small business security appliances including IPSec and SSL Firewall/VPN appliances with gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention and content filtering. The company also sells separate content filtering appliances, which already perform some e-mail screening and can block certain applications like instant messaging and gaming.
The company also sells anti-virus, anti-spyware and intrusion prevention services that update signature files for SonicWall devices.
Some of its equipment includes switches that can support security zones, so customers can set different security policies for traffic to and from those zones.
SonicWall said in a written statement that the purchase would give managed security service providers a way to sell e-mail-protection services to small and midsize companies.