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Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/10/2012
06:01 PM
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BeyondTrust Buys eEye

eEye co-founder Marc Maiffret now CTO of BeyondTrust

User privilege management firm BeyondTrust has purchased vulnerability management vendor eEye Digital Security and will integrate the two vendors' product lines for a more risk-based and context-aware perspective.

eEye co-founder and CTO Marc Maiffret will become CTO of BeyondTrust, and the eEye brand name will disappear. Maiffret co-founded eEye and has served as CTO for the past two years after serving as FireEye's chief security architect and launching a boutique consulting firm in 2008. He initially left eEye in 2007, around 10 years after founding the company.

"The biggest thing [enterprises] are trying to figure out is how to make smart decisions based on context that's specific to the business," Maiffret says. "What works in security is making proper decisions that are tailored to the business -- making sure there's proper privilege management, the right things around configuration, and getting patches deployed."

That's the end goal of the acquisition, according to Jim Zierick, executive vice president of product operations at BeyondTrust. "The threat landscape our customers are facing ... is changing. The way they dealt with it in the past was to assess the external threats and vulnerabilities separately, and then deal with insiders with privileged access. That's no longer a good enough answer," Zierick says. "Attackers are using a combination of threat vectors" to steal intellectual property, for instance, he says.

Zierick says combining BeyondTrust and eEye will create context-aware, risk-management-type offerings that let companies fix key vulnerabilities based on the risk they pose to them, for instance. "We are going to integrate our products. My product operations team is working with eEye now to figure out how to do that," he says. "This is embracing the vision eEye has been driving around Retina for better access to the true context and using that information to prioritize decisions and act to secure vulnerabilities."

BeyondTrust specifically will integrate eEye’s Retina CS Vulnerability Management and Analytics solutions with BeyondTrust's PowerBroker family, a move it says will simplify prioritizing vulnerabilities within the context of user privilege and the business. eEye's product names for Retina, Blink, and other offerings will remain intact.

"This meets a need we've heard from our customers for a single pane of glass beyond our product line," he says, one that combines patch management, policy, and who can access what.

BeyondTrust would not release financial details of the deal, but says the combined entity will total more than 250 employees, including 100 in research and development. "We've never had the background of Marc and his research team that understands the business problem and the evolution of security and the way hackers and people think," Zierick says. "Marc is a unique resource for companies like us that don't have that kind of capability."

Maiffret almost overnight went from teen hacker/phone phreaker raided by the FBI to co-founder of eEye, where he discovered several critical Windows vulnerabilities in the late 1990s and later was part of the team of researchers at eEye who was one of the first to detect (and later name) the first major Microsoft worm, Code Red.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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