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VeriSign Snaps Up iDefense

VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) has stumped up $40 million for privately held security intelligence outfit iDefense Inc. in a bid to strengthen the government appeal of its managed services (see VeriSign Acquires iDefense).

iDefense offers in-depth, round-the-clock subscription services that track IT vulnerabilities for worldwide, multilingual clients. For example, the Reston, Va.-based startup says its customers were already hip to the SoBig.F and Blaster malicious code before it invaded many data centers.

The deal is VeriSigns latest attempt to jostle managed services rivals Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) and Internet Security Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISSX). (See Symantec Integrates Vulnerability Data, Symantec Managed Services Offers IPS, and Subs, Services Support ISS .)

VeriSign's been working hard to get ahead. Last year, the company spent $135 million to acquire managed security service provider Guardent, an established player in the financial services sector (see Verisign Acquires Guardent).

Last month, VeriSign entered into a partnership with Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GLBC) to deliver managed security services to telecom customers. The vendor has also joined forces with the likes of Secure Computing Corp. (Nasdaq: SCUR), WilTel
Communications Group Inc.
(Nasdaq: WTEL), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) over the last 18 months to piggyback security services onto their offerings.

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