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By GCN Staff

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McAfee to swallow Citadel

No sooner did we put the finishing touches on an in-depth review of an important vulnerability management suite than we learned the software's maker was being aquired.

News out yesterday has it that McAfee Inc. plans to snap up Citadel Security Software Inc. (For those interested in the details of mergers and acquisitions, the deal is valued at about $60 million.)

Citadel makes the Hercules suite of vulnerability management tools, which you can read about in a GCN Lab review in our upcoming October 9 issue. It also raised the eyebrows of its competitors when the company won an Energy Department contract despite being more expensive and, according to DOE's own evaluators, not as good as two other solutions. (Hercules ultimately won out because it had Common Criteria certification while the other solutions under evaluation did not.)

But based on our own upcoming review, this is a good move for McAfee, if purely on the basis of acquiring solid technology. The GCN Lab found that Hercules' ability to remediate network vulnerabilities was among the best it's seen. (It also found that, yes, the product can be expensive to procure.)

According to a spokesperson who works with both McAfee and Citadel, the Hercules product won't go away after the buy-out closes later this year. That's probably a good thing, too, as Hercules already enjoys a sizeable government footprint. It's deployed in such agencies as the Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs, Treasury and Defense departments.

In a statement, Kevin Weiss, president of McAfee, said, "With the addition of Citadel, we can offer our customers the major components of vulnerability assessment, policy compliance enforcement and remediation, building on our suite of existing products, including ePolicy Orchestrator, Preventsys, Policy Enforcer and Foundstone."

How the various programs will be integrated remains to be seen, but Hercules users may want to call their reps soon to start mapping out future upgrades and identifying ways to capitalize on McAfee's portfolio to better protect their networks.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Oct 04, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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