Check Point to buy Zone Labs for $205 million

Looking to diversify, firewall maker Check Point Software Technologies plans to acquire the maker of security software for desktops.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
2 min read
Check Point Software Technologies plans to buy Zone Labs, which makes security software for desktops, for $205 million, an effort to broaden its product line.

Check Point primarily concentrates on firewalls, server-side software that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic

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and prevents malicious intrusions. Zone Labs produces similar software for desktops and notebooks. The Zone Labs software can also help prevent PCs from becoming drones that can be used by attackers to launch assaults on other systems.

Working together, the two types of software can further help corporations defend themselves against attacks, the companies said.

"The biggest opportunity we have is bringing security to every desktop," Check Point CEO Gil Shwed said in a statement.

Check Point also hopes the acquisition will help it better position itself competitively through diversification. Security companies previously had only specialized in a few products. Now most are trying to sell a broad array of products that will work in concert. Symantec for instance, bought two software companies specializing in management tools that, over time, will make it easier for customers to update their security systems.

Shwed, in fact, said that next quarter the company will come out with new products for beefing up Web security and security within companies.

Zone Labs has approximately 25 million users of its ZoneAlarm application, many of which use the free version of the product. The company, however, also has a corporate version that comes with tools that let information technology employees manage desktops remotely. Zone Labs also sells security software for instant messaging, which it bought earlier from IMSecure.

Check Point will pay $113 million in cash and $92 million in stock for San Francisco-based Zone Labs.