When I sold Secure Computing
Yet we can admire Secure Computing from afar. Last week, the company acquired privately held Securify for $15 million plus a $5 million earn-out. It's an interesting move -- Securify specializes in monitoring activity inside a network and comparing the results to norms.
Perhaps the best way to think of Securify is as an adjunct to TrustedSource. One guards the gates to the network, and the other patrols the network for miscreants who may have slipped past the border guards -- or, almost as bad, for employees who, although not miscreants, are inclined to misuse network resources.
"Let's say a bunch of your sales guys are hitting the financial system rather than the CRM system. You want to know why," explained Secure Computing Chief Financial Officer Tim Steinkopf in an interview with me last week. That's where Securify helps out.
Call it Websense
Still, the story feels creepy. Once you set network policy with Securify -- i.e., keep most sales guys from touching the financial database -- you dictate work processes. Freedom is lost. But here's the thing: Poor policy (or absent policy) creates security holes that need to be filled. Otherwise, misappropriations and fraud become more likely.
Put differently: When everything, and everyone, is connected digitally, isn't it important to control access? Steinkopf thinks so. "Our vision is for Secure's technology to allow the network to set policy for itself."
Auto-locking digital doors? Now that's what I call secure computing.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. He also hunts for the best of tech as a contributor to Motley Fool Rule Breakers. Here's how to try this market-beating service free for 30 days. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings. VASCO Data Security is a Stock Advisor selection. Symantec is an Inside Value pick. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy has an open-door policy.