Searching for identity, Quest picks up e-DMZ

Contact: Steve Coplan

Quest Software has announced the acquisition of e-DMZ Security, an independent and self-funded player in the growing privileged identity management (PIM) market, for an undisclosed sum. The PIM market originally coalesced around compliance requirements for enforcing the separation of duties for administrators and logging their access to sensitive systems, but security and governance concerns have added further impetus. While certainly attractive given its discrete focus and capital structure, e-DMZ also appealed to Quest on the basis of its proxy-based architecture (and a new set of capabilities to constrain the sudo command environment). (Click here for our full report on the transaction.)

This is Quest’s second acquisition in the identity management market (broadly defined), following the purchase of Völcker Informatik last July. That deal marked a sea change in Quest’s identity management strategy – and signaled that M&A would play a key role in that strategy. Quest’s identity management portfolio has held the most appeal for IT administrators relying on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to manage users, a constituency that Quest describes as ‘AD-centric.’ The Völcker buy showed that Quest is looking to migrate from serving this well-defined customer set with an array of operational tools to addressing more fundamental enterprise-level requirements for provisioning, entitlement management, auditing and compliance based on a service-oriented architecture.

PIM was already a category on the M&A radar before Quest’s purchase of e-DMZ. However, the deal does remove one potential acquirer from the list for the remaining vendors in the market, including Cyber-Ark Software, Lieberman Software, Cloakware (a division of Irdeto, which itself is a subsidiary of media conglomerate Naspers), BeyondTrust and potentially Xceedium and FoxT technologies. On the other hand, the transaction will likely reinforce the rationale for an acquisition that is already in motion.