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BeyondTrust Acquires Data Loss Prevention Startup GentleSecurity

Privileged access management provider BeyondTrust has acquired a startup company for its data loss prevention technology. The acquisition of GentleSecurity is the third such deal this year for BeyondTrust as it seeks to broaden its solutions to protect IT systems from insider threats by controlling who has access to what parts of the network.

Privileged access management provider BeyondTrust has acquired a startup company based in Luxembourg for its data loss prevention (DLP) technology. The acquisition of the three-person GentleSecurity is the third such deal this year for BeyondTrust as it seeks to broaden its solutions to protect IT systems from insider threats by controlling who has access to what parts of the network. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

GentleSecurity software is installed on network endpoints--that is, PCs or laptop computers used by employees--and their usage is controlled by administrative policies dictating what employees can or can’t do with those endpoints. The DLP software can prevent, for example, an employee from downloading sensitive information such as customer credit card numbers onto a USB drive. Or, it can prevent someone from uploading sensitive data to a website or sending it out in an email, says Jim Zierick, executive VP of product operations at BeyondTrust.

The GentleSecurity acquisition complements other BeyondTrust products--some developed internally, others through acquisitions--that the company offers to control access to protect against insider threats, Zierick says.

"What we realized in the last year and what has become the vision for BeyondTrust is management of the perimeter from within, providing a comprehensive solution for managing the threat that insiders present from a security and compliance point of view," he says.

According to a report from earlier this year, the Verizon 2010 Data Breach Investigations Report, insiders participated in 48% of all data breaches, up from 26% the year before. And in 90% of those breaches, the breach was done deliberately, Verizon stated in the report.

In May, BeyondTrust acquired the assets of a company called Lumigent to offer a database activity monitoring solution. That was followed in early July by the acquisition of some assets of Likewise Software to enable access management, based on Microsoft’s Active Directory, in cross-platform environments of Windows, Linux, Unix and Apple Mac OS X operating systems.

The company’s flagship product is PowerBroker, which grants privileged access management for Unix and Linux servers. In 2009, the company, originally named Symark International, acquired BeyondTrust for a reported price of approximately $20 million, adopted the BeyondTrust name as its own and began offering access management for Windows desktop environments. While the company continues to pursue what Zierick calls "opportunistic" mergers and acquisitions, it is also growing organically and is expected to roll out access management for Windows servers later this year.

Other companies providing privileged access management security solutions for computer networks include Action Identity, Cyber-Ark, Fox Technologies and Pinnacle International.

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Research: 2011 Strategic Security Survey (subscription required).

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