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WatchGuard Buys Percipient Networks, Plans to Launch DNS Filtering Service

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WatchGuard Technologies, a firewall, network protection and unified threat management (UTM) products company, has acquired automated security solutions provider Percipient Networks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition enables WatchGuard to integrate Percipient's Strongarm domain name system (DNS) service into its Total Security Suite (TSS), according to a prepared statement. TSS currently offers traditional network security services, along with advanced malware protection, data loss protection and endpoint and network threat correlation capabilities.

Also, WatchGuard will launch a beta version of a DNS filtering service that includes Strongarm capabilities later this month, the company said. The service eventually will be generally available as part of TSS, WatchGuard noted, and active TSS customers will gain access to the new service at no additional charge.

A Closer Look at Strongarm

Strongarm offers DNS-based security designed to stop phishing and malware attacks, according to WatchGuard. It tracks outbound DNS requests and correlates them against aggregated intelligence, WatchGuard stated, to prevent an organization's systems from connecting to malicious infrastructure.

Furthermore, Strongarm redirects end users to a "blackhole" where additional information about a cyberattack is collected and presents users with educational materials to teach them how to stop future attacks, WatchGuard indicated. The service also is backed by a threat analysis team that engages with IT managers and managed service providers (MSPs) to provide additional insights into cyberattacks.

WatchGuard will continue to invest in Strongarm, the company pointed out. By doing so, Strongarm will help protect WatchGuard customers against a wide range of cyber threats.

WatchGuard Adds Next-Gen Cloud Sandboxing, Acquires Datablink

In addition to the Percipient acquisition, WatchGuard recently has made several moves to extend its channel reach.

WatchGuard in September updated its cloud-based Threat Detection and Response (TDR) service for MSSPs. Now, MSSPs can use TDR to automatically analyze suspicious endpoint files within a cloud sandbox and identify behaviors associated with persistent threats, zero-day attacks and malware.

Meanwhile, WatchGuard in August acquired fraud prevention solutions provider Datablink for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition enabled WatchGuard's MSP and value-added reseller (VAR) partners to offer Datablink's advanced authentication as a cloud-based service.

WatchGuard provides network intelligence and security products to more than 80,000 customers worldwide. It also offers the WatchGuardONE Channel Partner Program, which enables MSSPs, resellers and other partners to deliver the company's products.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.