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Security buying binge continues

Aiming to be a one-stop shop, Network Associates says it will acquire a small Canadian security firm called Secure Networks Incorporated.

Continuing on its buying binge, Network Associates today said it will acquire a small Canadian security firm called Secure Networks Incorporated (SNI), which develops tools that scan networks for security holes.

The acquisition shores up Network Associates' security offerings as it seeks to become a one-stop vendor for buying both security and network management technology.

Financial details of the acquisition were not immediately available.

Earlier this year, Network Associates bought firewall and virtual private network firm Trusted Information Systems. In late 1997, the company acquired Pretty Good Privacy. Network Associates itself was created out of the merger of antivirus firm McAfee Associates and Network General, which had both security and networking technology.

SNI's Ballista security auditing scanner will be incorporated into Network Associates' Net Tools Secure suite. Ballista performs vulnerability assessment or security scanning, and they check private networks for security weaknesses that hostile hackers might exploit to break in.

The best-known name in security scanning is Internet Security Systems, a publicly traded firm that is concentrating on security assessment and intrusion detection, a related technology that seeks to identify hackers after they have broken in.

SNI's staff will join Network Associates' research and consulting service, an area the company is trying to beef up.

With this acquisition, Network Associates now has security offerings that include firewalls, virtual private networks, intrusion detection, encryption, authentication, antivirus, and security scanning. However, because most of those technologies were bought from others, Network Associates still must assemble them so they work together in a single suite.