Merger discussions denied in Juniper and Symantec technology tie up

We're just good friends insists chief executive, no plans for a full takeover

Symantec and Juniper Networks have signed a wide ranging partnership covering product development, marketing and threat research.

Citing the changing security landscape as the reason for the extent of the tie up, John Thompson, Symantec's chief executive denied that merger talks were ever opened.

Instead the companies will concentrate on integrating software from Symantec with Juniper's Unified Threat Management (UTM) and intrusion prevention products. Symantec will immediately share its anti spam, IPD/IPS signatures and vulnerability information with longer term plans for anti virus and threat protection collaborations also announced.

"This partnership brings together two very complementary companies focused on both network and endpoint security," said David Passmore, research director at Burton Group.

"Juniper and Symantec will simplify choice for enterprises looking to purchase high-performance network security solutions that scale, and reduce the complexity involved in assembling solutions for endpoint compliance."

Juniper chief executive Scott Kriens said he sees the future of security involving an integrated unified threat management platform, saying: "It's not just email anymore."

Symantec will recommend Juniper's current and future Integrated Security Gateway and IDP appliances to new and existing enterprise customers, including existing managed security services customers. Juniper will market and sell Symantec security content as a component of its Integrated Security Solutions portfolio.

In a separate announcement Juniper Networks said it had reached number one in the secure socket layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) market for Q2 2006.

In a statement the company said: "A key factor of Juniper Networks' success with customers is the integration of the company's IDP intrusion prevention functionality into the Integrated Security Gateway. Juniper offers medium-to-large enterprises, carriers and data centres the ISG 1000 and 2000 platforms as a single firewall/VPN service or with intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) as an elective add-on to protect its networks with increased levels of delivery and threat controls.

Citing figures based from firm Infonetics, Juniper said it had 27 per cent revenue market share in SSL VPNs.

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