Only weeks after buying UK security outfit Reflex Software, Pointsec itself is to be acquired by security giant Check Point.
The Israeli firm has tabled a $586 million offer for Swedish company Protect Data, the owner of Pointsec, on Monday. Coming so soon after the cash deal for endpoint security specialist Reflex, it suggests the latter could all along have been a strategic fattening exercise designed to add value to the Check Point bid. The Pointsec acquisition is expected to close early next year.
With Pointsec under its wing, Check Point will extend its security products to include corporate data, the company said. Pointsec offers encryption software that helps companies secure data stored on laptops, PCs, smart phones, PDAs, and so on.
"With businesses facing increasingly severe consequences from data breaches and a stricter regulatory environment, it is apparent that protection must extend beyond the infrastructure to the data itself," Check Point CEO Gil Shwed said in a statement. The company also hinted that similar moves might follow, saying that Pointsec is the first step in Check Point's plan to expand into data security.
Other security companies are also offering new products to help enterprises secure themselves against threats from remote access. Last week, Nokia introduced a network security appliance that includes software from Sourcefire to protect against threats from employees who remotely access corporate data from devices like smart phones and laptops.
It is unclear whether Check Point will run into similar problems with this acquisition as it did with a proposed acquisition of Sourcefire earlier this year. Check Point withdrew its offer after some US government agencies, who were Sourcefire customers, protested in apparent concern about national security implications of the acquisition because Check Point is an Israeli company.
Pointsec supplies its encryption software to government agencies, as well as enterprises, around the world.
Additional reporting by Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service.
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