Press release at Secure Computing website confirming that they have been sold to McAfee – its a sad day when one of the best security technology companies gets the kiss of death.
Secure Computing – unique
There are several parts to Secure Computing, but the three main elements SnapGear, WebWasher and Sidewinder. The SnapGear is a SME firewall that is absolutely brilliant, a small appliance that includes a proxy, firewall, wireless, ethernet ports all for a few hundred bucks using Linux.
The WebWasher product is not one of my favourites, but it has a very nice interface which makes it easy to use.
The SideWinder firewall product is so complicated it makes your eyes spin, but once mastered, it is an amazingly secure and versatile piece of kit. I haven’t kept up to date, but they were integrating the remnants of the CyberGuard acquisition (or vice versa, it was never quite clear).
On the whole, a fine family of products and I never understood why the company did not grow more.
MacAfee – kiss of death
For most people in IT infrastructure, MacAfee is something of a running joke. Taking mediocrity seriously and producing competently average products that turn a sow into a pigs ear for many years, I don’t believe that this is great move for Secure Computing.
My guess is that MacAfee wants the SnapGear product to package for home users, and they will make some attempt to re-enter the corporate market with the high end products, but will ultimately fail.
Blue Coat is the winner
The winner here is probably Blue Coat, since many corporate IT departments will no longer consider WebWasher as a filtering proxy, and move to Blue Coat Content Filter.
Cisco WAAS uses ((oh all right, a preference for)) Secure Computing SmartFilter for http content filtering, I wonder what will happen there also.
Most readers will blankly look at me and say, hey, its all Cisco, right ? But it isn’t, Security requires an ecosystem with high levels of diversity provide a lifecycle of security. For example. Cisco does not produce an application proxy ((except in niche markets such as the Cisco ACE WAF, or WAAS with inspection, but these are sidelines not the main attraction)) , and companies like Secure Computing offered unique products.
Without them, the Security game is a little bit less that it was.