Enterasys buys more security

Enterasys buys more security

Enterasys Networks has acquired Network Security Wizards (NSW), an intrusion detection software company, as a move to bolster security in its line of enterprise network equipment.

The company plans to integrate NSW's intrusion detection software into its enterprise switch, router and VPN (virtual private network) products over the next few months. The terms of the deal, which was backed by Enterasys' parent company Cabletron Systems, were not disclosed.

Enterasys will immediately offer NSW's line of server-based intrusion detection tools as stand-alone products. The company also plans to release a dedicated intrusion detection network appliance based on the NSW software before the end of the year.

"Enterasys takes an holistic approach to network security," says Ken Pappas, vice president for acquisitions and partnerships at Enterasys. Pappas says the deal will let Enterasys deploy intrusion detection throughout a network instead of just one single point, such as a firewall.

The integration of Enterasys and NSW products will include the development of software to run on Enterasys switches and routers that will sharpen interoperability with the NWS software, says Dick Bussere, network security architect at Enterasys.

"By putting a little more logic into a switch," Bussere says, "we'll be able to do [intrusion detection] right at each port."

The acquisition is the second for Enterasys in as many months. In late August, the company acquired VPN start-up Indus River Networks for $US170 million, with plans to integrate Indus River VPN hardware and software products into its line of enterprise network equipment.

The additions of NSW and Indus River technologies are both attempts by Enterasys to add differentiating features to its core network hardware product lines, analysts say.

"Enterasys can't be perceived as being a commodity or just another equipment maker," says Paul Straus, an analyst with International Data Corporation. "It has to add value, and it is differentiating itself by adding improved security to its hardware products."

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