Symantec and Oracle Acquisition Activity

It's been a big week in the security space this week, with some notable acquisition activity from Symantec and Oracle, as well as some product updates from Kaspersky Lab and RSA.

The biggest news of the week was undoubtedly Symantec's swoop for VeriSign's authentication services business. The security giant will pay $1.28bn (£890m) to take over all products and services sold under the Authentication Services banner. The business accounted for $102m (£70m) in revenue last year, roughly 40 per cent of VeriSign's total for 2009.

Among the assets that will go to Symantec are VeriSign's Secure Socket Layer certification operation and the Public Key Infrastructure platform, leaving VeriSign to concentrate on its domain naming business.

Not to be outdone, Oracle made another acquisition this week, snapping up database security firm Secerno for an undisclosed sum. The Secerno technology, which has won many plaudits and independent awards in the industry, is based on its SynoptiQ Engine which is able to analyse database activity, suggest policies and, crucially, prevent unauthorised access.

Security vendor Kapersky Lab has announced an update to its security offering for small businesses, claiming to offer comprehensive protection for Windows-based file servers and workstations.

Kapersky Small Office Security now includes an anti-virus engine with improved threat detection, a heuristic analyser to block new malware as it emerges, and a scanning system to check instant messages for malicious code and links, said the firm.

RSA also took strides to improve end user security, with a set of services aimed at defeating man-in-the-middle attacks. The Man-in-the-Browser Solutions package offers four distinct services aimed at beating the attacks, which occur when a secure link is hijacked by someone looking to steal data. These are: transaction monitoring; adaptive authentication; fraud action; and a cyber crime intelligence service

Facebook has been in the news for the wrong reasons again this week, after security experts warned of a new security threat on the site which arrives as a 'sexy' video posted on users' walls but installs adware on the PCs of unwary users. Sophos and warned users to be wary of clickable links on Facebook, even if they're in messages which appear to come from friends.

Finally, there was some good news for the industry after Ofcom research found that adults are becoming more security conscious when sharing information via social networking sites. The UK Adults' Media Literacy report (PDF) found that 80 per cent of adults using social networking sites now limit access to their profiles to friends or family, compared with 48 per cent in 2007.

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