Barracuda Networks, a privately held Web and e-mail security company, has acquired Purewire, which offers Web security and URL filtering as services in the cloud. Barracuda says the acquisition, a cash and stock deal whose details the companies did not disclose, will enable it to offer malware, URL, and Web security threat prevention services via a new Cloud Services division or in hybrid models, with or without client-site appliances. Integration of Purewire will be "quick but prudent," says Barracuda CEO Dean Drako. The company will also announce Barracuda Labs, a new threat research and security intelligence team that will analyze data from Barracuda's 85,000 appliances deployed in the field, to complement Purewire's security research.
Security has been one of the last bastions of resistance to outsourcing, with IT groups loath to go to the cloud for sophisticated functions. The marriage of Purewire, which specializes in Web and mobile device security, with Barracuda's popular e-mail filtering and other services could add a level of comfort for enterprise infosec teams.
"We have seen a growing interest in the [Web security] SaaS space," Drako says. "It is better to have the offering an organization wants than trying to sell them one we have but they do not want." Indeed, it's apparent Barracuda's clients have been watching cloud-based competitors with increasing interest, and Drako said in a briefing that he sees Purewire complementing Barracuda's current offerings and attracting new customers.
Executives from Purewire and Barracuda say Purewire management has been retained. Paul Judge, co-founder and CTO of Purewire and formerly with security appliance vendor CipherTrust, will head Barracuda's new research lab and take the position of chief research officer. Judge says he believes existing Purewire customers will benefit from the resources Barracuda has to offer, including its vast amounts of data, which can be analyzed by R&D to improve both the Purewire and Barracuda products. Mike Van Bruinisse, co-founder and CEO of Purewire and also a CipherTrust alum, will lead Barracuda's channel and enhanced enterprise sales efforts.