Dell's announcement today of a definitive agreement to acquire security firm SecureWorks builds on the company's plans to be a full-fledged "IT-as-a-Service" provider. SecureWorks, which has clients across a range of industries, including financial services, utilities, healthcare, retail and manufacturing, offers managed security, security and risk consulting and threat intelligence services.

Based in Atlanta, SecureWorks has approximately 700 employees and projects fiscal year 2010 revenue of more than $120 million. Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) declined to provide the price of the deal or other details, but did say it plans to maintain SecureWorks' current operations in Atlanta, and make further investments in the company's security services. No staff cuts are planned, a Dell spokesman told InternetNews.com.

SecureWorks, founded in 1999, says it processes more than 13 billion security events and sees more than 30,000 malware specimens daily. Its customer base includes over 1,500 banks and credit unions as managed security services clients representing trillions of dollars in financial assets.

“The frequency and sophistication of attacks on technology infrastructure and malicious attempts to access data, requires reliable, capable and innovative information security,” Peter Altabef, president of Dell Services, said in a statement. "SecureWorks is a recognized industry leader in information security services and its offerings and expertise will immediately enhance our solutions portfolio. We look forward to welcoming SecureWorks team members – who bring their passion and dedication to serving clients with best-in-class security services -- to Dell and our clients."

SecureWorks CEO Michael Cote said Dell's global scale and wide range of client relationships will help expand his company's business under the Dell umbrella.

"With Dell's commitment to our clients, our team and our market, I am confident that SecureWorks will flourish as part of the Dell Services organization and that our clients will continue to be well-served and well-protected by the services on which they rely," Cote said in a statement.

The news is the latest of several big security acquisitions by tech firms. Last month Juniper Networks paid $95 million to acquire privately held Altor Networks, a provider of virtualization security technologies. Of course, the biggest of all security deals in 2010 was Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) $7.7 billion buy of McAfee.

The Intel deal eclipsed the second biggest security deal of the year, HP's $1.5 billion buy of security-event management company ArcSight. Symantec paid big buck for a security buy as well, paying $1.28 billion for Verisign's authentication services business.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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