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VC backed Watchguard in Borderware acquisition

From Gigabit firewall and VPN appliances to content inspection

By CBR Staff Writer

Firewall and Virtual Private Network appliance-maker WatchGuard Technologies Inc has picked up secure email messaging and web content company BorderWare Technologies for an undisclosed sum. 

Joe Wang, CEO of WatchGuard Technologies said. ‘By acquiring BorderWare’s messaging, content security and in-the-cloud security offerings, customers will now have a single source for comprehensive and complete security.”

WatchGuard produces Gigabit firewalls for use in securing data centre traffic, and deployed by service providers and medium-sized enterprises running up to 20,000 Virtual Private Network tunnels.

Gartner has said the market can expect significant numbers of installed SMB multi-function firewalls to be displaced by competitor lines in coming quarters. 

The analyst house said that in general vendors like Watchguard, SonicWall and Fortinet, who have traditionally focused on smaller organisations for their core business now have a strong foothold in the sector, although its currently SonicWall and Fortinet who are considered top competitors as multifunctional firewall specialists. 

Bringing the content inspection and message security management features of Borderware into the Watchguard product fold could help the vendor redress that perception.

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The BorderWare Security Platform protects networks against inbound threats and also help prevent outbound content leakage across email and Web applications.

That and the associated SteelGate network security appliance both use the vendor’s cloud-based ReputationAuthority as a check against unwanted email and Web traffic contents.

Wang said that no immediate changes were planned for any of the product offerings, customer support and channel programs of BorderWare, which has been in business for around 15 years. Canada based BorderWare was founded in 1994 and has 90 employees.

Watchguard is backed by Vector Capital Corp and Francisco Partners, two venture businesses that specialise in the acquisition of under-performing technology companies, having taken WatchGuard private in 2006 in a deal worth around $150 million.

Revenue for 2005 was $75m (£44m) and the Seattle-based firm claims to have become profitable since then.

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