9 February 2005 Software giant Microsoft is strengthening its security portfolio with the acquisition of anti-spam company Sybari. This is the second security firm Microsoft has bought in three months.
Microsoft will use the acquisition of Sybari to protect its users from malicious software by providing protection at the server level, identifying threats before they reach end users.
“Through this acquisition… customers get choice, high-quality performance and the most up-to-date protection possible,” said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business and Technology Unit at Microsoft.
In December 2004, Microsoft bought anti-spyware maker Giant Software Companyst releases from that purchase surfaced in January 2005. Microsoft is currently readying its own anti-virus product which is expected to ship in the spring.
Microsoft’s intention to enter the security market has caused consternation within the industry. Rival security firm Symantec issued a statement pouring scorn on the Sybari acquisition: “This acquisition does not provide Microsoft with the security and antivirus response infrastructure necessary to support the virus protection needs of enterprise customers.”
But Microsoft dismisses such claims. The addition of Sybari into its product set will provide unparalleled protection says Microsoft Chief Information Officer Ron Markezich. “We think that Sybari offers strong technologies and approaches that we can offer to help protect our customers from the threats of malicious software. It provides us with additional technology to help address customer concerns regarding security.”
Although terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, Sybari did value itself at $186 million in a scheduled initial public offering this week. The offering has now been called off.