Reborn security vendor WatchGuard has continued its corporate overhaul by acquiring BorderWare Technologies, a Canadian maker of single-function security boxes with a foothold in online reputation services.

The terms of the deal have not been made public - both companies are private entities - but the buy represents a move into previously unexplored territory for WatchGuard.

Hitherto, the company has sold all-in-one Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances to smaller enterprises. Despite being a small 90-person company itself, Borderware's focus is more mid-range and revolves around conventional security boxes designed to do one thing well, which gives WatchGuard some technological breadth.

WatchGuard will also have eyed its ReputationAuthority system, a way of checking email against a blacklist of known bad sources, precisely the type of cloud security service that should in time aid the messaging security of WatchGuard's current UTM line.

"This acquisition is extremely complementary and will allow WatchGuard to accelerate and further deliver on its vision of extending security solutions to protect corporate data, networks and applications," said WatchGuard's CEO, Joe Wang.

"By acquiring BorderWare's best in class messaging, content security and innovative ‘in-the-cloud' security offerings, customers will now have a single source for comprehensive and complete security," he said.

BorderWare also makes roughly 50 percent of its sales outside North America, another attractive statistic.

The Borderware badge will survive in the short term, but company officials indicated to Techworld that the WatchGuard brand would take over in time. It is not clear how many of the BorderWare management will take up roles at WatchGuard, but the rest of its staff will be integrated into WatchGuard without the need for redundancies.

WatchGuard is a company with an interesting history. Founded at the peak of the wave of network infrastructure boom in 1996, it was eventually caught up in the IPO boom of 1999, which took it public. One tech recession later and by 2007 it was struggling, or at least its share price was. Under new management it pressed the once unthinkable reset button of a private buyout and paid off its by now miserable shareholders.

BorderWare has a parallel history, but without the IPO boom that fired WatchGuard into choppier waters that nearly drowned it. It has remained small, focused, private and is well regarded in the niche markets it serves.