HP buys “real time” security vendor ArcSight for $1.5bn

Hewlett-Packard has reached an agreement to acquire security and risk management software vendor ArcSight for $1.5 billion.

Silicon Valley-based ArcSight specialises in software that allows organisations to monitor and respond to security threats in "real time". Its customers include a number of major financial services businesses and US government agencies.

"From a security perspective, the perimeter of today’s enterprise is porous, putting enormous pressure on clients’ risk and compliance systems," said Bill Veghte, HP executive vice president of software and solutions, in a statement. "The combination of HP and ArcSight will provide clients with the ability to fortify their applications, proactively monitor events and respond to threats."

The real time component of ArcSight’s security technology is comparable to that of Guardium, the database security software startup that IBM acquired in November 2009 for $225 million.

The purchase of ArcSight is HP’s second major acquisition in quick succession. Earlier in September, it won a lengthy bidding war with hardware rival Dell to buy virtualised storage vendor 3PAR for $2.4 billion.

Both acquisitions have taken place while the company has been without a permanent CEO, as the company has yet to replace Mark Hurd who left last month following an investigation into sexual harrassment claims. HP’s CFO Catherine Lesjak is currently serving as interim CEO.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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