Novell buys identity technology from Fortefi

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE:  Novell said it acquired the technology assets of Fortefi Ltd., a provider of compliance and privileged user management solutions. Novell also acquired a perpetual source code license to ActivIdentity's industry-leading single sign-on solution, SecureLogin, which had been previously available to customers through an OEM agreement as Novell SecureLogin.  The two deals cement Novells leadership position in bringing together identity, access, and security management technologies to help customers reduce cost, complexity and risk while proving compliance with industry regulations.


According to Novell, customers can come to Novell as a one-stop-shop for all of their identity and security needs whether they are seeking a point solution or a complete platform. It also lets customers address their specific problems with the flexibility to expand to the rest of their enterprise.

Novell acquired a perpetual source code license to the ActivIdentity code and can fully manage the future development and road map for Novell SecureLogin.  This will allow for better integration of SecureLogin into Novells portfolio of identity management solutions and faster additions of  Novell customer requirements into future generations of the product.

Novell is positioned in the leaders quadrant of Gartner, Inc.'s, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Single Sign-On by Gregg Kreizman, Sept. 18, 2008. According to Gartner, "Enterprises continue to make tactical investments in ESSO to resolve the problem of users having too many passwords, with no relief in sight for the next two to three years."


Enterprise Single Sign-on (ESSO) enables a user to access all permitted computers and systems without the need to enter multiple passwords. ESSO reduces human error and helpdesk requests but is difficult to implement because most applications and systems support different password mechanisms.

Novell SecureLogin is part of Novell Identity and Access Management solutions, the industry's leading solutions to automate business processes, mitigate security risks and lay the foundation for complying with internal security mandates and government regulations.

Novell licensed the SecureLogin source code for an undisclosed sum using current cash.  SecureLogin will be fully integrated into Novell's identity and security business unit.  


Using the technology acquired from Fortefi, Novell plans to introduce Novell Privileged User Manager in the second quarter of 2009.  Novell Privileged User Manager is built on two Fortefi products, Command Control and Compliance Auditor, and provides granular access control and auditing of super or root users across multiple systems.  Novell Privileged User Manager limits exposure to unauthorized activity and information access by helping customers rapidly enable or disable administrator-level users across both UNIX and Linux.  This acquisition also expands Novell's focus on UNIX to Linux migration by offering customers a single tool for managing superuser access while they migrate to SUSE Linux Enterprise.

Industry regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI DSS, HIPAA and others call for better control of user access to sensitive information. Despite these requirements, many organizations share superuser, or root account credentials among multiple users, increasing the likelihood of a security breach from inside the organization.   Privilegeduser management mitigates these types of potential security risks by governing privileged users' access and passwords to an organization's information and systems.

"Poorly managed superuser privileges leave enterprises exposed to security breaches and regulatory rebuke, which may result in business losses and financial penalties," notes Gartner, Inc. in Best Practices for Managing Superuser Privileges, Ant Allan, et. al., November 2008.  "Smart enterprises will oblige system administrators to use SUPM tools, rather than being permanently assigned superuser privileges."

Novell Privileged User Manager will become part of Novell Compliance Management solutions, the industry's leading solutions to automatically enforce security and access-related policies, making it easy to prove compliance and ensure trusted access.

Novell acquired the technology assets from Fortefi Corporation for an undisclosed sum using current cash. These technologies will be fully integrated into the Novell identity and security business unit.