Symantec buys risk management start-up

Summary:Symantec has snapped up a tiny software start-up in Virginia to help with its big plans in the compliance and security risk management space.

Symantec has snapped up a tiny software start-up in Virginia to help with its big plans in the compliance and security risk management space.

On the surface, Big Yellow's purchase of 4FrontSecurity looks like one of those "acq-hire" transactions but don't tell that to Chris Parker, a co-founder and one of 4FrontSecurity's six employees who will be joining Symantec.

"I can tell you that Symantec acquired [us] to bring new tools to capture and track procedural controls and measure them against a variety of industry best practices and standards. The primary driver of this deal was our technology," Parker said in an interview.

He said the plan is to build 4FrontSecurity products and expertise into Symantec's existing compliance and security management offerings.

The likeliest scenario is to offer 4FrontSecurity's products as separate modules within Symantec's Control Compliance Suite.

4FrontSecurity's flagship product is a software program that conducts Q&A-type interviews with a company's security staff over the Internet, compiles the responses and measures them against industry standards, best practices and regulations.

"We automate the process of gathering all this key information and presents the results in a way that shows where the weaknesses are," said Parker, who launched the company in 2002 with a small grant from the Center for Innovative Technology, an organization that invests in technology start-ups in the Virginia area.

Parker becomes senior manager of product management at Symantec. Two other 4FrontSecurity executives -- co-founder Steve Crutchley and director of development Paul Venne -- are also moving into Symantec's offices in Virginia.

Financial terms of the deal, which was first reported by the Washington Post, are not being released.

Topics: Security


Ryan Naraine is a journalist and social media enthusiast specializing in Internet and computer security issues. He is currently security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, an anti-malware company with operations around the globe. He is taking a leadership role in developing the company's online community initiative around secure content managem... Full Bio

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