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Symantec ties up BindView buy

Security company continues spree with $209 million purchase of compliance specialist BindView.

Symantec plans to acquire compliance specialist BindView Development for $209 million in cash, the security company announced Monday.

BindView, based in Houston, Texas, develops security software that is designed to automate policy and compliance management, vulnerability and configuration management, and directory and access management. Companies have come under increasing pressure to adopt such technologies in order to meet the demands of financial reporting regulations such as those laid down by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The deal comes less then two months after Symantec purchased Sygate Technologies, another regulatory compliance specialist. And in July, Symantec closed a megamerger with storage maker Veritas Software that gave it a sizable foothold in the business of archiving data and e-mails--a requirement for an increasing number of businesses under new federal regulations.

The BindView purchase is designed to round out Symantec's policy compliance and vulnerability management lineup. The security company, based in Cupertino, Calif., currently offers an agent-based technology architecture in which an agent is installed on each system to check for regulatory compliance and management. But for computer systems that do not need agents installed on end-point devices and can be accessed remotely, an agent-less product like that provided by BindView could be used, said Rowan Trollope, a vice president of security management solutions at Symantec.

A global bank, for example, may face multiple compliance regulations and may have Symantec's Enterprise Security Manager agents on its important servers, but the bank may also want to ensure its satellite office desktops are also in compliance, said Arshad Matin, BindView's president.

"They may have a need for agents on their desktops, but since it's less mission-critical, the cost may be prohibitive for an agent-based system," said Matin, who added that the customer at that point may opt for an agent-less solution.

Symantec expects to close its BindView deal in the first quarter next year, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. BindView's technology will be merged with Symantec's Enterprise Security Manger efforts and a new business unit will be created, headed by Matin.