AVG Technologies buys Sana Security

Sana's behaviour-based 'zero-day-type' protection will help AVG deal with malicious code more quickly and efficiently, the comany has claimed
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Czech antivirus-software company AVG Technologies has bought Sana Security, the Californian makers of identity-theft prevention software.

The deal, which closed on Friday and was announced on Tuesday, gives AVG its first offices in Silicon Valley. According to AVG's statement on the matter, the Sana acquisition will complement the antivirus firm's existing portfolio by "delivering continuous threat detection and automatic removal of malicious software proactively".

Sana's ID-theft prevention products are based on behavioural technology that identifies malicious code by analysing its behaviour, rather than by checking signatures, and eliminating the recognised threats to users' personal information.

Describing Sana's products as"zero-day-type protection", AVG chief executive JR Smith told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that ID-theft protection — added to AVG's signature-based protection and trusted-site analysis — formed a "third layer that we feel will allow us to help people protect their identities and [their] whole online world".

"We're seeing over 40,000 new [malware] samples coming through our lab every single day," Smith said. "Although we can handle three times that amount, the rate at which they're growing is massive." Pointing out the time factor involved in the traditional approach of receiving and analysing samples, then sending out updates to users, Smith said the addition of Sana's technology would provide "instant protection".

Sana's software only uses one percent of the user's CPU power, Smith added, suggesting that this would help in providing optimum system performance.

Asked whether AVG would integrate Sana's technology into its popular free antivirus product, Smith said only that such a move was being evaluated. However, a new, integrated version of AVG's paid-for software will come out in the second quarter of this year he said.

Smith was also reticent to divulge the financial and other details of the Sana deal, other than to say negotiations had taken around nine months, and the deal was cash-only with no stock involved. Both companies are privately held. All of Sana's employees are included in the package, Smith said — these include 13 engineers, plus sales staff.

Peter Baxter, Sana's UK managing director, also told ZDNet UK in the same phone-call that Sana's technology — which he said was different from rivals' software by virtue of completely removing malicious code rather than just quarantining it — would remain compatible with antivirus packages other than those made by AVG.

Editorial standards