Ixia Acquires BreakingPoint for $160 Million

Ixia is a company long associated with network load testing. And the loads that Ixia tests for are now expanding, with the acquisition of security vendor BreakingPoint Systems.

Ixia buying network security capabilities

Ixia is paying $160 million in cash for BreakingPoint and the deal is set to close in the third quarter of 2012. The acquisition will bring new network security capabilities to Ixia’s portfolio of networking testing gear.

Victor Alston, president and CEO of Ixia explained during a conference call with analysts this morning that BreakingPoint aligns well with Ixia. BreakingPoint has two key products, the Actionable Security Intelligence (ASI) platform and the complementary Application Threat Intelligence (ATI) subscription service.

ASI is a hardware and software platform that creates and controls the flow of global threats and intelligence. The platform also provides global visibility into emerging threats and provides information that users can act on. The ATI offering is a subscription based technology that provides updates to ensure the delivery of complete application and threat intelligence. The system provides live malware updates and reflects the latest real world threats so customers can protect their networks against the most advanced threats.

“What BreakingPoint is able to do across the IT lifecycle, is they are able to figure out the vulnerabilities and they are able to break the defenses of your network and find those vulnerabilities,” Alston said. “They have a unique differentiated position to help companies figure out if their networks are secure.”

Alston sees real opportunities to utilize BreakingPoint to certify security across the network. The combination of Ixia and BreakingPoint technology extends Ixia’s reach as well, specifically in the government sector. Approximately 27 percent of BreakingPoint’s business is from government accounts. BreakingPoint holds U.S. Government security certifications that allows Ixia to extend its network testing footprint, as well.

On the other side, Alston noted that BreakingPoint has been primarily a North America based business, while Ixia has a larger global organization. It is his intention to push BreakingPoint technologies into other geographies as time progresses.

The initial plan for BreakingPoint’s integration into Ixia is to embrace existing customers and ensure continuous support. After that, the plan is to extend the technology and then to more fully integrated the hardware technology into the rest of the Ixia portfolio.

The acquisition of BreakingPoint is Ixia’s second acquisition this year. In June, Ixia acquired network visibility vendor, Annue Systems for $145 million. Alston sees the potential for BreakingPoint to help accelerate Ixia’s Annue business prospects as well, as network visibility and security are often very closely related topics.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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