Axent Technologies has acquired fellow security software supplier Assurenet Pathways, formerly Digital Pathways. The aim is to add authentication of remote and Internet-based users to Axent's user verification facilities.
Axent will issue up to 1.55 million shares to pay for privately held Assurenet. That would currently value the acquisition at $24.8 million, but it is unlikely to be finalised until the end of March. Axent will take a one-time charge to cover most of the purchase price. It will be accounted as purchased ongoing research and development.
Assurenet's token-based authentication products, Defender, are designed to verify users accessing systems remotely, and there will be Internet and Intranet versions available later this year. They add remote and Internet access authentication to Axent's Omniguard product line. The deal also increases Axent's channel with the addition of 50 Assurenet resellers in the US and Europe. Defender uses software and hardware-based tokens that are managed at enterprise level.
"Assurenet's Defender products are highly synergistic with Axent's Omniguard line," said Axent chief executive Rich Lefebvre. "The combination will provide a next generation centralised authentication and single sign-on solution."
The company added that there is increasing realisation among large enterprises that the burgeoning population of remote users must be authorised using more sophisticated methods than static passwords.
Omniguard will be able to centrally administer Defender tokens and Defender Security Servers, alongside PC, Netware, Unix, NT and MVS platforms. The combined product range will offer a consistent authentication mechanism whether the user is accessing the network through a dial-up link, corporate Lan or Internet.
"As a result of this acquisition, Assurenet customers will be able to take advantage of Axent's greater development and marketing resources," commented Ainslie Mayberry, acting president of Assurenet. "By joining forces with Axent we will be able to accelerate delivery of customer-requested enhancements, provide better support and services and offer integration with Axent's security solutions."
Analysts estimate the market for authentication products will grow in value from $225 million to $2.6 billion by 2000.
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