Barracuda buys Web security vendor NetContinuum

Web filter appliance vendor diversifies into Web application security

Barracuda Networks is getting into the Web application security business.

The security vendor has acquired California's NetContinuum, a vendor of Web firewall appliances. Barracuda already sells Web filtering devices that prevent Web surfers from visiting malicious sites, but the NetContinuum products can be used to protect Web sites themselves.

With about 80 employees, NetContinuum had been in business since 1999 selling pre-configured security servers, or appliances, that help protect sites from Web-based threats such as cross site scripting or SQL injection attacks.

Barracuda, which is best known for its spam filtering products, had actually concluded the purchase in mid-July, but it was not publicly disclosed at the time, said Dean Drako, the company's president and CEO. Drako would not say what Barracuda paid for NetContinuum.

The deal gives Barracuda a new type of appliance to sell along side its existing lines of appliances, Drako said. ""We believe there's an opportunity to bring Web site protection to a very broad audience of our customer base," he said.

Barracuda plans to improve the NetContinuum user interface and eventually sell the appliances as the Barracuda Web App Controller, he said. "We are investing really heavily in making this a really great product."

NetContinuum had offices in Santa Clara and India, but the Santa Clara team has already been moved to Barracuda's Campbell, California, headquarters. Barracuda is expanding the team in India and expects to make only "one or two" layoffs as a result of the acquisition, he said.

The Web App Controller line will cost the same as NetContinuum's existing products, which sell in the US$30,000 to US$50,000 range, depending on capabilities.

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