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Security is definitely catching on to the big time as Hewlett-Packard Co. is paying $1.5 billion to purchase security software firm ArcSight Inc.
In a market where personal computers are a commodity and has low margins, HP is looking to diversify its computer business. HP is the world’s largest personal computer maker.
The deal for ArcSight will boost H.P.’s security and network offerings as the newly-purchased company focuses on helping governments and businesses monitor their data networks for suspicious activity.
Cupertino, CA-based ArcSight had $181.4 million in revenue and $28.4 million in net income for its most recent fiscal year. The company, founded in 2000, has 512 employees.
The deal should close by the end of the year.
This is not the first big deal for a security provider as just a few weeks ago, Intel Bought McAfee Inc for $7.7 billion. In May, Symantic Corp. bought Verisign Inc.’s payment authentication unit for $1.3 billion.
At the time of the Intel deal for McAfee, the Santa Clara, CA-based chip giant said security is now a fundamental component of online computing, but today’s approach to security isn’t adequate for the growing availability of Internet connections on mobile phones, medical devices, ATMs, and automobiles to name a few.
The industry needs a new approach that combines software, hardware and services to meet tomorrow’s needs, the company said.
”With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online,” Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini said. ”In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.”

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