HelpSystems Adds To Its Non-IBM i Acquisition List
January 8, 2018 Dan Burger
HelpSystems, well known for its IBM i security software, has acquired Fox Technologies, a company that specializes in security for Linux and Unix systems. With the acquisition, HelpSystems broadens its software and security software and services across a greater range of operating systems, a business plan it has pursued for the past several years.
HelpSystems has been steadily expanding its multi-platform capabilities, as well as its IBM i capabilities, with a long list of acquisitions. It is widely recognized in the IBM i community as the largest provider of systems management tools and utilities, but is also a formidable vendor is areas such as business intelligence and document management.
Fox Technologies has been developing identity and access management data security software for more than 15 years. Its products are designed for cloud-based environments as well as on-premise and hybrid environments are used by top Fortune 500 companies.
HelpSystems has been in the data security business since its acquisition of PowerTech in 2011. The security-related product lineup for IBM i includes identification and access management software, user profile management, compliance reporting, encryption software, and network oriented intrusion protection. It also includes virus protection for IBM i, Linux, and Unix. In addition to the PowerTech acquisition, HelpSystems has bolstered its security offerings over the years with the purchase of Bytware, SkyView Partners, and Linoma.
The Fox Technologies acquisition is indicative of HelpSystems’ interest in growing its business beyond the IBM i portion of enterprise IT. A substantial number of HelpSystems’ customer base has Linux and Unix operating systems playing important roles. It figures that a trusted provider of security for IBM i can parlay that into a Linux and Unix environments. To a degree, HelpSystems has already been doing that. From the customer perspective, the consolidation of vendors is a systems management benefit.
Regardless of platform, the management of user privileges is a major security issue. Tools that simplify the appropriate amount of data access relative to job requirements are necessary. For years, security vendors have warned that most cyberattacks are carried out by company insiders, not the marauding actions of cybercriminals half way around the globe. However, it should be noted that when fewer users have elevated privileges, it limits the exposure of sensitive data if credentials are compromised from outsider attacks.
“Opportunistic employees often gain unauthorized access to critical information due to weak or poorly enforced security policies,” said Chris Heim, CEO of HelpSystems in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Protecting businesses from these attacks is where Fox Technologies solutions excel. In fact, members of the Fortune 500 trust Fox Technologies to enforce granular security controls and achieve compliance with strict regulatory guidelines.”
In an interview with IT Jungle last June, Heim described the enterprise computing environment as “increasingly heterogeneous and our research shows that companies used to be an IBM i shop or a Windows shop or a Unix shop or a Linux shop, but now they are all of the above. They have an IBM i system; they have a Linux system running the Web server off in the corner; they have a Unix box running other applications; and they have Windows boxes running Exchange Server and SharePoint Server. We think there is an opportunity for us to offer solutions that span all of these and manage these in a coherent and easy fashion, and bring the capabilities found on the IBM i to other platforms as well.”
Dan Mayleben, CFO at HelpSystems, described the Fox Technologies team and solution set as “a great fit” for his company. He said, HelpSystems will continue the enhancement of the Fox Technologies product line, which will help HelpSystems’ customers secure their networks.