CyberGuard Eyes Linux Security

Friday Nov 21st 2003 by Matt Villano
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Firewall specialist looks to tap into Linux deployments with a $16 million acquisition.

Network security company CyberGuard Corp. has its eye on security technology for Linux deployments with its purchase of Australian SnapGear for $16 million in stock and cash.

Both companies build special-purpose servers that run protective firewalls and Virtual Private Network connections.

SnapGear, whose U.S. headquarters is in West Jordan, Utah, also develops embedded Linux security technology and sells a line of edge firewall and VPN security appliances for small to medium-sized businesses.

Through the acquisition, CyberGuard President Pat Clawson said he expects his company to incorporate SnapGear's embedded Linux technology within its product portfolio. "Because SnapGear targets a different market than [CyberGuard], their worldwide distribution channel will complement, not replicate, ours," Clawson said. "We believe this [acquisition] can generate revenue growth for both entities."

SnapGear, one of the first embedded Linux companies on the market, was spun off from Lineo in 2001. According to company Chairman Bob Waldie, the company plans to continue its involvement with uClinux, its contributions to open source, and its device design and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) activities.

Under the deal, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based CyberGuard will pay $1.6 million in cash and the remainder in stock. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The deal comes at a time when the firewall/VPN market is growing. Market projections by industry analyst In-Stat/MDR project the industry could exceed $4 billion by 2007.

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