HP sells TippingPoint to Trend Micro

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TippingPoint is on the move again. HP announced today that it is selling Tipping Point to Trend Micro—enabling HP to center its efforts within the enterprise and expanding the network and endpoint security capabilities of Trend Micro.

What’s in it for Trend Micro?

TippingPoint adds intrusion prevention and mitigations capabilities to the Trend Micro arsenal—giving it a broader, more comprehensive security solution to protect customers. A Trend Micro press release explains, “By combining intrusion prevention and breach detection, Trend Micro is creating a multi-faceted approach to contain sophisticated attacks. Should a compromise occur, the solution can swiftly detect and mitigate exploits within the network that could inflict further damage.”

“This acquisition complements Trend Micro’s current threat defense expertise, extending its strength in endpoint, cloud, data center and breach detection to the network,” said Mike Spanbauer, vice president of research for NSS Labs in the Trend Micro press release. “By combining two strong brands, this move accelerates Trend Micro’s enterprise position into a non-competing segment, and provides a single, complete threat defense solution for enterprises seeking to make a critical security investment.”

So, Trend Micro gets a broader enterprise security solution and a deeper bench when it comes to security expertise and intellectual property. TippingPoint provides Trend Micro with a more comprehensive approach that will up its game and put it on more even ground with larger rivals like Symantec and Intel Security (McAfee).

What’s in it for HP?

From the HP perspective the news seems to have a split personality. HP presents the news of divesting TippingPoint to Trend Micro as an effort to focus on its strengths as part of the transition to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HP states that it is selling TippingPoint so it can partner on network security rather than owning it and so it can invest in other areas of its security portfolio. But it still has an impressive security portfolio that includes HP Fortify, HP Data Security, Aruba Networks, HP ArcSight, and HP Secure Access and Continuity Solutions.

HP’s blog post announcing the deal states, “Security professionals are faced with the need to balance this use of innovative technologies with the role of protecting their organizations’ most prized assets. This demands a new approach to security, one that goes beyond defending the traditional perimeter to one of protecting users, applications and data and securing the interactions between them regardless of location or device.”

The message from HP is that it believes the threat landscape has shifted and that perimeter defense like intrusion prevention play an evolving, but diminished role in protecting customers. HP isn’t getting entirely out of security, though—just out of intrusion prevention and response. It will also continue to utilize intrusion prevention and response—just in partnership with TippingPoint’s new owner, Trend Micro.

Ultimately, it seems like what HP really gets out of the deal is cash. HP could just as easily have shifted its focus without selling TippingPoint, or leveraged the strengths and resources of TippingPoint to expand its capabilities for detecting and stopping threats in the enterprise.

Moving Forward

HP, Trend Micro and Tipping Point have already work in close alliance and will continue to do so. The $300 million deal shifts ownership of the security technology, intellectual property, industry expertise and customer base of TippingPoint from HP to Trend Micro, but much of the established relationship won’t significantly change. HP and Trend Micro will still have a strategic partnership and work closely together to protect customers through managed services, security intelligence, app and data security.

The deal between HP and Trend Micro is expected to be finalized by the end of 2015.

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