Breach Preparedness , Breach Response , Data Breach

Trend Micro Reaches for TippingPoint

HP Selling Intrusion Prevention and Detection Unit for $300 Million
Trend Micro Reaches for TippingPoint

Security software vendor Trend Micro has signed an agreement to buy HP TippingPoint, which sells intrusion prevention and detection systems and other network security products.

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Trend Micro, which trades on the Tokyo stock exchange, says the $300 million deal with HP, which it expects to finalize by the end of the year, will strengthen both its intrusion prevention and breach detection offerings. The company plans to create a new network defense business unit, which it says will have more than 3,500 enterprise customers.

But Trend Micro also says that it will continue its business partnership with HP, which began in 2014. The partnership will evolve to focus "around re-sale, managed services and OEM activities, as well as security intelligence, app security and data security" (see Industry News: Trend Micro, HP Collaborate).

HP, meanwhile, is set to split into two public companies by Nov. 1: HP Inc., which will sell PCs and printers, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will sell business software, networking gear and servers.

Rick Holland, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, says that HP's move to sell TippingPoint was expected. "I'm not surprised HP spun them out. HP hasn't had a coherent product strategy since they started moving into the security space," he tells Information Security Media Group.

TippingPoint was launched in 1999 and purchased by 3Com in 2004. Then in 2010, HP acquired 3Com, including TippingPoint.

The Right Price?

London-based information security researcher Javvad Malik, who's with security firm AlienVault, notes via Twitter when 3Com acquired TippingPoint more than a decade ago, it paid $450 million. "So either Trend Micro got an absolute bargain, or [intrusion prevention systems] ain't worth what it used to be," he says.

On the breach detection front, Trend Micro's appliances currently compete with AhnLab, Fidelis, FireEye, Fortinet, Cisco's Sourcefire and Palo Alto Networks, among others. Holland says that the TippingPoint acquisition "does give Trend Micro a better network story."

Still, he says the deal is about more than intrusion prevention and detection technology. "This move isn't as much about the TippingPoint product itself, but gaining customers, network credibility and people," he says. "I think the price was right; it's a nice acquisition. It just won't disrupt the market in the near term."

By acquiring TippingPoint, Trend Micro also gains TippingPoint's Digital Vaccine Labs, or DVLABS, which provides real-time threat intelligence. It also gains the Zero Day Initiative, a long-running bug-bounty program that rewards security researchers for reporting vulnerabilities and coordinating any further release of information with vendors until they have appropriate fixes in place.

"I do like the DVLabs and the ZDI components" of the deal, Holland adds.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the Executive Editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, amongst other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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