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Symantec To Acquire Security Software Maker

Symantec on Wednesday said it would acquire Gideon Technologies to boost Symantec's risk management offerings for the public sector.

Gideon will extend Symantec's security portfolio with security content automation protocol-validated configuration and vulnerability assessment technology. SCAP is a method for using specific standards to communicate software flaw and security information between security software products.

Government agencies use SCAP in automating vulnerability and patch checking, technical control compliance activities, and security measures. The federal government, which requires the use of SCAP in vendor products, has built the National Vulnerability Database as its content repository for SCAP.

Symantec said demand for standards-based security technology is increasing because of the government's efforts to improve cybersecurity in public and private infrastructures. "As demonstrated by this acquisition, Symantec is committed to SCAP and emerging standards and intends to lead the ongoing advancement of these standards," Gigi Schumm, VP and general manager of Symantec's public sector unit, said in a statement.

Specifically, Gideon's SecureFusion product will complement Symantec's compliance technology through integration with the company's management platform, formerly called the Altiris platform. The addition will provide more comprehensive capabilities in automated situational awareness, continuous compliance, and remediation management, the vendor said.

Symantec acquired Altiris for $830 million in April 2007. Altiris was a maker of software for managing PCs, servers, handheld devices, and other endpoints trying to connect to corporate networks.

Symantec expects to close the Gideon transaction by the end of March. Financial terms were not disclosed.