CybersecuritySourcefire expands westward

Published 10 January 2011

Maryland-based Sourcefire acquires Palo Alto-based Immunet for $21 million, expanding the company’s cybersecurity services; the acquisition will allow Sourcefire to accelerate its cloud-based initiative and provide a platform to expand its security services

Sourcefire’s recent acquisition of a California company has helped the Columbia, Maryland, cybersecurity services provider to expand to the West Coast and Canada.

Sourcefire said in an announcement last Wednesday that the company has purchased Immunet of Palo Alto, California, for $21 million. The acquisition will allow Sourcefire to accelerate its cloud-based initiative and provide a platform to expand its security services, said Greg Fitzgerald, Sourcefire’s senior vice president of marketing.

We’re very excited about this acquisition,” Fitzgerald said. In addition to the Palo Alto location, Sourcefire also will expand to Immunet’s office in Calgary, Alberta. The Palo Alto and Calgary offices will have both business and engineering responsibilities for cloud-based technologies within Sourcefire, said Oliver Friedrichs, Immunet’s founder and CEO, in an e-mail to the Gazette.

Immunet, launched in 2008, provides antivirus protection for PC users, using cloud computing and social networking “to provide a groundbreaking approach to security,” according to the company’s website.

Friedrichs and other Immunet employees will be retained as part of Sourcefire’s acquisition and “it’s a great opportunity to start commercializing and accelerating our growth and business more than what we could do on our own,” Friedrichs said. reports that Sourcefire’s most recently reported revenues of $103.5 million in 2009 were up 37 percent from 2008.

The company also is looking to fill new openings in 2011, Fitzgerald said, and is moving more toward enterprise capability, offering security services for customers’ entire information technology operations. Sourcefire also is working to introduce a new network security system to stop worms and viruses.

Maryland has many assets in the cybersecurity industry, including many not found in other states, said Renée M. Winsky, CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland. Among them is the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, she said.

The tech council is partnering with state officials on the CyberMaryland Marketing Consortium, a new venture launching next month that is aimed to market and raise awareness about the state’s cybersecurity industry, according to Winsky.


We know Maryland is great in cybersecurity,” she said. “We want the rest of the world to know it, too.”