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3/23/2011
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McAfee To Acquire Database Security Vendor Sentrigo

Intel's McAfee is taking on industry heavyweights Oracle and IBM with its move to shape an enterprise database security platform.

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On Wednesday, Intel-owned McAfee announced plans to acquire database security, monitoring, and intrusion-prevention software maker Sentrigo. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in April, were not disclosed.

Also on Wednesday, McAfee announced the release of a new database security architecture based heavily on Sentrigo's technology. It includes a vulnerability manager that can detect and profile all databases used in the enterprise, database application whitelisting, intrusion prevention, and database change tracking and monitoring.

McAfee first began integrating Sentrigo's Hedgehog database technology into its ePolicy Orchestrator products in September 2010. Subsequently, McAfee signed an OEM agreement with Sentrigo and today, three McAfee products -- Vulnerability Manager for Databases, Database Activity Monitoring, and Integrity Monitoring for Databases -- are based on Sentrigo's technology.

Sentrigo released a statement on Wednesday saying, once the deal is closed, its team would report into McAfee's risk and compliance business unit.

As this deal suggests, the database security market has been heating up. In a recent blog post, Martin Kuppinger, founder and principal analyst at KuppingerCole, characterized the database security market heavyweights as being Oracle, followed by IBM, but said that a number of more specialized vendors -- Sentrigo, as well as Imperva, Bitkoo, and NetIQ, among others -- also compete.

"Sentrigo is a very interesting player," said Kuppinger in an email interview. "You might argue that their approach on database security is a little questionable given that they are using shared memory access -- however it is read-only and they are not the only ones using that approach in Oracle environments," said Kuppinger. "Thus they are definitely a strong player in that space, especially in Oracle environments -- I doubt somewhat that they can deliver as well in other environments." McAfee, of course, could also expand the technology to work on other types of databases.

But is McAfee creating its own database security platform, and taking on Oracle and IBM, a good business move? "Given that the market for database security is growing quickly, entering that segment definitely makes sense," wrote Kuppinger. "The big question is: Will McAfee be the one to really sell at the enterprise level? Database security is [very] much about real (!) enterprise IT, critical production environments, and so on. Are they trusted enough at that level?"

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