BeyondTrust acquires eEye in union of security vendors

eEye name to fade away, but founder Marc Maiffret gets CTO role at BeyondTrust

BeyondTrust, a software firm that specializes in identity and access management for the enterprise, has announced the acquisition of eEye Digital Security, which makes products for vulnerability management, patch remediation, malware defense and configuration compliance.

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BeyondTrust, based in Carlsbad, Calif., and eEye, in Phoenix, are both privately-held companies and did not disclose financial terms of the arrangement, but they do say the goal is to combine their basic fields of expertise with the intention of creating new products.

The company name eEye will eventually be phased out, though company founder Marc Maiffret (one of Network World's "12 White Hat hackers you should know") will take on the role of CTO at BeyondTrust to help define strategy. Jim Zierick, executive vice president of product operations at BeyondTrust, emphasizes that eEye security products, including Blink and Retina, will continue to be supported and developed.

"The Retina and Blink brand names will go on," says Zierick, noting that the driver to bring together the two companies is that their strengths are complementary, something that became understood in working together with customers using eEye's security as well as the BeyondTrust PowerBroker line. With the companies now merged for a total of about 250 employees, the potential to build a unified product line combining features is being explored.

Maiffret says gaining the BeyondTrust knowledge about network users and their access privileges and combining it with knowledge about vulnerability assessment and remediation offers new ways to think about how to tackle fixing vulnerabilities.

For instance, employees that have broad access to the Internet and who may be more at risk for malware than others that are more restricted, plus those who have "more important access" to corporate resources, could logically be considered priorities when it's time to deal with patch management. "Where we want to go, is to be able to make smarter decisions in security, and really automating it," Maiffret says.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.

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