General Dynamics buying Fidelis Security for DLP expertise

General Dynamics Monday announced plans to acquire Fidelis Security Systems for an undisclosed amount in an effort to bolster the former's expertise in data-loss prevention (DLP) technologies.

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Fidelis, which has about 70 employees based in Waltham, Mass., and Bethesda, Md., is expected to become part of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems group based in Fairfax, Va. According to John Jolly, a General Dynamics vice president who's also the general manager of the cyber systems division, Fidelis will remain much as it is now but become a wholly owned subsidiary. But the plan is also to dispatch about 35 General Dynamics engineers to go work and learn from Fidelis once the deal closes, likely by Q3.

"At General Dynamics, we have cybersecurity services, mainly for forensics response," says Jolly, noting the goal is to have specialists build up expertise related to the Fidelis DLP technologies. Eventually, there could be combined products and services.

Peter George, president and CEO of Fidelis, said the firm has evolved its network DLP to monitor both inbound and outbound traffic.

He acknowledges the outlook among enterprises and governments about DLP has shifted from several years back. Then, a lot of the impetus for DLP was heightened concern about employees inadvertently leaking sensitive financial or health-related data, resulting in the quandary of a data breach, he points out. Now, there's deep concern about nation-states infiltrating in stealthy attacks known as advanced persistent attacks to steal important corporate data. "Today, this is why we're seeing DLP projects," says George.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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