A month on from IBM’s acquisition of Israeli-founded security firm Trusteer, another startup with a similar profile, Versafe, is being bought by F5 Networks.

Founded in 2009, Versafe is far smaller and less developed than competitor Trusteer, basing its business on the WebSafe and MobileSafe services that together make up the firm’s TotALL Online Fraud Protection Suite launched only days ago in the US.

After building the business in EMEA, Versafe has also attracted attention through its Security Operations Centre (SOC) that in July was credited with the discovery of an important flaw in the Joomla content management system.

Further back in time, Versafe supplied intelligence to Israeli security giant Check Point when it publicised the huge Eurograbber mobile malware attack on European bank authentication systems that is believed it have netted cybercriminals aournd 36 million euros (£30 million).

The firm is already an F5 partner so the acquisition suggests that the US firm either wanted to avoid being trumped by a rival suitor or felt the time was right for integrating its technology into its own products.

“Businesses with mission critical and sensitive web operations need a trusted advisor for security and one with a deep understanding of cyber-crime,” said Versafe co-founder, Eyal Gruner.

“Together, F5 and Versafe plan to provide this support and deliver immediate protection against fraud, phishing, pharming, man-in-the-middle and malware threats. We look forward to joining the F5 team and bringing new security solutions to our customers.”

F5 Networks is a much older company that tried to turn itself into a security player by adding and acquiring a sometimes eclectic mix of technology around its crown jewels, the Big-IP performance platform. Versafe looks like another small interesting part in a sometimes confusing puzzle of bits and pieces.

The terms of the deal for the privately-held Versafe have not been disclosed.