WatchGuard Buys Qiave for Web Security

WatchGuard Technologies Inc. is beefing up its security offerings with content-protection software from Qiave Technologies Corp.

WatchGuard snapped up the Waltham, Mass., company for US$66 million in stock and plans initially to sell Qiave's QSecure software to current WatchGuard customers.

The software protects Windows NT servers from Web-based attacks launched by hostile traffic disguised as HTTP traffic that gets through legitimate ports in corporate firewalls. The firewalls allow the traffic through because it looks like normal Web traffic visiting public servers.

Qiave's software installs on Web, e-mail and database servers, for example, and locks them down when they are not in administrative mode so intruding programs cannot commandeer the servers. QSecure also has a management console component that enables system administrators to free up these protected servers to go into administrative mode for legitimate purposes.

QSecure is meant to stop intruders from changing Web page content and scripts. The software also can thwart attempts to steal e-business data, such as credit card numbers, that resides on servers behind firewalls.

The purchase means a shift in focus for WatchGuard, known for its Firebox firewall and VPN security appliances. In addition to perimeter security the Fireboxes provide, WatchGuard now also will protect e-commerce applications inside the corporate network, WatchGuard CEO Christopher Slatt says.

While QSecure currently supports NT, WatchGuard next year plans to expand that support to Windows 2000 and Unix platforms.

Founded in 1999, Qiave has 30 employees and started shipping QSecure last month. It costs $5,000 for management-console software and software for three servers. Individual server software licenses cost about $1,300 each.

WatchGuard plans to start selling the QSecure in earnest at the start of

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