CA Quaffs Qurb

CA will make email security software startup part of its eTrust lineup

July 27, 2005

3 Min Read
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Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) has bought Qurb Inc., a maker of anti-spam software for email servers, for an undisclosed sum (see CA Acquires Qurb).

It's the latest of several acquisitions by CA to score a bigger piece of the red-hot enterprise security pie. Since August 2004, the company has spent more than $400 million on the effort, mostly buying companies whose software it already resold. Here's a rundown of CA's shopping list:

  • Tiny Software, a maker of anti-virus and anti-spyware products, for an undisclosed sum in June (see CA Gets Tiny);

  • eTrust Cleanup mainframe identity and access management software, purchased from InfoSec Inc. for $10 million in cash this past March (see CA Acquires eTrust Cleanup );

  • Netegrity, an identity and access management software vendor, for $430 million last October (see CA Nets Netegrity for $430M);

  • PestPatrol, an anti-spyware firm, for an undisclosed sum in August 2004 (see CA Acquires PestPatrol).

This just might be the end of it. "We feel now we've got what we need," says Sam Curry, CA's vice president of eTrust security management. Of course, he said that last month, when CA bought Tiny Software. And he's clear that CA will keep its eye out for new opportunities.

For now, there's work to be done. CA is in various stages of incorporating its buys into the three parts of CA's eTrust Security Management series. Netegrity and eTrust Cleanup have become part of eTrust Identity and Access Management, which includes enterprise security wares. The other acquisitions are moving into the eTrust Threat Management family, which includes software that fights external threats to security like viruses and spyware.

Within CA's Threat Management series, integration is proceeding apace but isn't finished. This fall, CA spokespeople say, the company will release a software agent for servers that incorporates PestPatrol virus protection. But customers will wait until 2006 for Qurb and Tiny Software functions to be added to the same agent. In the meantime, those products will continue to be sold separately.A third eTrust product area, Security Information Management, is based on CA's own software for managing security event information from its products and those of other vendors. Since this is CA's raison d'tre, it doesn't seem to be a focal point for acquisitions.

The Qurb buy puts CA in league with a slew of big companies buying their way further into the fiercely competitive enterprise security management arena. Last week, for instance, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) bought FrontBridge, a supplier of email security software and services (see Microsoft Pulls In FrontBridge). And earlier this year, another CA rival, BMC Software Inc. (NYSE: BMC), acquired two identify management vendors -- Calendra for $33.1 million in January, and OpenNetwork for $18 million in March, subsequently releasing new security management wares (see BMC Acquires Calendra, BMC Aquires OpenNetwork, and BMC Intros Identity Mgt. Suite).

Meanwhile, other players, including IBM Tivoli, NetIQ Corp. (Nasdaq: NTIQ), and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), have been busy beefing up their enterprise offerings (see IBM Fights Identity Theft and Symantec Touts Info Manager).

As forces like regulatory compliance force large firms to buy more security wares, it's likely the competition will lead to some shakeout of products and services over the next while.

Qurb, founded about three years ago, has eight employees in San Mateo, Calif. All are moving to CA's San Francisco headquarters, including Qurb CEO Felix Lin, who will become VP of strategy for eTrust at CA.— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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