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Websense to Buy PortAuthority

Threat prevention firms will sell integrated products

Publicly held threat prevention software maker Websense aims to close a merger with PortAuthority, a smaller, privately held supplier of leak prevention products, for a cool $90 million in cash this January. (See Content Filtering Options Proliferate and Stop That Email!.)

While both Websense and PortAuthority are in the enterprise data protection space, execs deny there is any overlap between their wares. They are billing the matchup as one of Websense's control of inbound Web traffic (and reporting on employee use of the Internet) with PortAuthority's ability to filter outbound email and messages.

"There is no overlap. We both do content-based security. But Websense protects the network from malicious code, while PortAuthority guards against threats from the inside," says Cas Purdy, a spokesman for Websense.

Websense and PortAuthority already had plans for a combined product to be sold by Websense, which was slated for release in early 2007. Those plans remain, and a common policy engine will be set up for the integrated wares, allowing organizations to control data by user as well as by IP address or device.

Websense shares dropped slightly on the news and were trading at $23.96, down .25 (1.03 percent) this morning.

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