Security software vendor McAfee is to acquire network security specialist Secure Computing, well known for products such as Webwasher, a tool for filtering corporate web traffic; Ironmail encrypted mail servers; Sidewinder firewall appliances and SnapGear VPN devices.

With the acquisition, valued around US$465 million , McAfee hopes to expand its security-as-a-service offer, and to sell more products and services to Secure Computing's 22,000 customers worldwide. With its existing network security services, the company expects total network security sales of around $500 million a year.

McAfee intends to make Secure Computing part of its network security business unit, reporting to Dan Ryan. The companies expect to close the deal around the end of the fourth quarter, subject to approval from stockholders and regulators.

Like other companies in the sector, McAfee has been busily acquiring other products for its portfolio. In August it announced the purchase of Reconnex, a provider of risk management tools, for $46 million.Two years ago, it acquired Israeli data protection company Onigma for $20 million, and last year, splashed out on encryption and access control vendor SafeBoot for $350 million.