CA hints at security acquisitions

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Computer Associates (CA) will keep away from snapping up mid-tier organisations, but could make strategic acquisitions of small security technology companies to boost its security offering, CA security executives revealed at CA World 2003.

“When you look at security industry, there are a couple of companies on the edge. They must either continue to grow or compress on themselves,” said Ron Moritz, chief security strategist at CA told iTnews.

Demonstrating with a diagram, Moritz said the security software market is shifting towards an oligopoly and a natural consolidation is occurring, of which CA hopes to take advantage.

Moritz listed rival security software companies RSA Security, Network

Associates and Internet Security Systems (ISS) as being in the mid tier and facing this decision.

“When you have 1,000 people, like RSA, you need to grow to be big enough to take it to the next level.”

Moritz said RSA Security CEO Arthur Coviello “has done a great job turning that company around, which is hard when you only have 1,000 people.

Sanjay Kumar, CA CEO, talked about consolidation of the mid range and CA's continuing focus on small, strategic opportunities during his keynote at CA World 2003 in Las Vegas. However Moritz explained the acquisition engine has slowed down.

“The cheque book in the 1990s is not where the cheque book is today,” he said. “There won't be billion dollar transactions. Rather than looking at established companies in the mid tier, the market will look at small opportunities, and strategic buys where [the company is] not going to survive.”

Moritz indicated CA is particularly interested in products that could boost CA's enterprise rights management and secure content management solution suite.

Siobhan Chapman travelled to CA World 2003 in Las Vegas as a guest of Computer Associates.

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