HP buys security firm ArcSight for $1.5 bln

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Hewlett-Packard is continuing its acquisition spree: the company has just announced a definitive agreement to acquire security and compliance management company ArcSight in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The purchase is another strategic acquisition by Hewlett-Packard in a strategy originally outlined by now-departed CEO Mark Hurd to expand the company’s base of enterprise computing services: ArcSight specializes in computer and network security services, enabling companies to monitor their internal networks and processes for signs of fraud, intrusion, misappropriation of servies, and theft.

“From a security perspective, the perimeter of today’s enterprise is porous, putting enormous pressure on clients’ risk and compliance systems,” said HP’s executive GP for software and solutions Bill Veghte, in a statement. “The combination of HP and ArcSight will provide clients with the ability to fortify their applications, proactively monitor events and respond to threats.”

HP’s acquisition of ArcSight comes just after the company won a bidding war for cloud storage vendor 3Par: HP will be spending a little more than $2 billion to keep the company from being acquired by Dell. As with ArcSight, the 3Par acquisition is about augmenting and expanding HP’s existing services to enterprises and large-scale computing customers, rather than products or services focussed on consumers.

The strategy for expanding HP’s enterprise businesses was formulated in part by former HP CEO Mark Hurd; Hurd resigned from the CEO position for violating the company’s code of business conduct in his relationship with an HP marketing contractor. Last week, Oracle snapped up Hurd to serve as co-President of the database company, prompting an immediate lawsuit from HP.