McAfee to buy whitelisting vendor Solidcore

McAfee will pay $33 million upfront to acquire privately held Solidcore Systems, as part of an ongoing strategy to strengthen its security offerings.

Intent on beefing up its security offerings, McAfee is adding another company to its mix. McAfee announced on Friday an agreement to buy Solidcore Systems, a vendor of whitelisting technology.

McAfee will pay $33 million upfront to acquire privately held Solidcore, with the promise of an extra $14 million if Solidcore hits certain performance targets.

Solidcore's whitelisting technology combats viruses, worms, and other malware by allowing only approved, preauthorized software to run on servers, mobile, devices, and other computer systems. Cupertino, Calif.-based Solidcore's products also help customers protect ATMs, cash registers, and other systems used in the retail market. Its technology is employed by more than 100 financial institutions and 15,000 retail stores, said McAfee.

"With Solidcore, we will bring together best-in-class technologies and extend the current McAfee security portfolio beyond signature-based anti-malware," said Dave DeWalt, McAfee chief executive officer, in his corporate blog. "We will combine dynamic whitelisting and application trust technology with leading McAfee antivirus, antispyware, host intrusion prevention, policy auditing and firewall technologies, to help customers more readily mitigate the risks associated with vulnerable or malicious applications downloaded by employees."

Solidcore Systems

Solidcore has seen its business skyrocket due to the growing need for its security technology. The company recently enjoyed record earnings in the first quarter of 2009, while doubling sales for 2008. Solidcore CEO Anne Bonaparte said in a statement, "The integration of Solidcore with McAfee will provide customers with the highest level of system integrity and security across their physical and virtual environments, and allow customers to more quickly and easily meet today's demanding compliance requirements."

The buyout should be complete in the second quarter. McAfee expects the deal to decrease its earnings per share for the quarter.

McAfee has been on a shopping spree the past few years, having picked up Citadel Security last year, ScanAlert in 2007, Preventsys in 2006, and Foundstone in 2004.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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