FireEye buying nPulse for $70M to gain security analytics 'flight recorder'

Threat protection company FireEye Tuesday announced it's acquiring nPulse Technologies, a privately-held maker of high-speed packet-capture, network analysis and forensics gear, for $70 million in a cash-stock deal expected to close during the second quarter.

Charlottesville, Va.,-based nPulse makes a line of data storage and network forensics products, including Cyclone nSpector, Capture Probe and Security Probe, and has about 60 customers, including the U.S. government (where some of its equipment is used to support the EINSTEIN 3 network-monitoring program run by the Department of Homeland Security). Chairman and CEO Dave DeWalt, says acquiring nPulse will give FireEye a platform that represents a kind of "flight recorder" for security analytics.

+ Also on NetworkWorld: Review: FireEye wards off multi-stage malware | A look at FireEye's Mandiant buy: Gamechanger or not? | Security firm's "DVR for network traffic" gets search and analysis boost +

"The new reality of security is that every organization has some piece of malware code within their network," DeWalt says. "The important question is has that code been able to execute any compromising activity that puts organizations at risk, and if so, what data left the network?" He suggested with the addition of the nPulse gear, FireEye will be able to incorporate real-time breach information into a single platform to provide in-depth attack information in order to remediate the situation before "a compromise turns catastrophic."nPulse has about 30 employees and is headed by CEO Tim Sullivan, an ex-Marine who earlier in his career started up Fidelis Security Systems. Sullivan is expected to stick around and be vice president of FireEye's enterprise forensics group.

FireEye CTO Dave Merkel says the nPulse acquisition gives his company technology it currently lacks -- full packet capture that can deliver a "treasure trove" of network data that can be quickly made available for review by any organization after any security incident or suspected incident. He suggests there will be increasing integration of FireEye's core sandboxing technology for detecting unknown malware and zero-days, with nPulse products.

The nPulse buyout comes on the heels of FireEye's much larger acquisition of Mandiant in January for roughly $1 billion.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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Tags business issuessecurityFireEyeendpoint securityacquisitionsMandiantWide Area NetworkMergers and acquisitionsmergersDepartment of Homeland Securitycorporate issues

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