McAfee, the Internet anti-virus firm that is owned by Intel, is bulking up its network security business after it announced the acquisition of Finnish firm Stonesoft for $389 million.

Helsiniki-based Stonesoft provides a range of solutions — including next-generation firewalls, evasion prevention systems and SSL VPN solutions — which help businesses keep their networks and employees safe from cyber threats. The company has more than 6,500 customers worldwide and was founded in 1990.

Intel explains that network security is a “vital component” for any business and enterprise, and the Finnish firm — which Gartner awarded ‘visionary’ status in a recent network security report — is the industry’s most complete solution, and therefore an ideal partner for McAfee.

The deal will see its solution integrated into the existing McAfee product range in order to “anticipate emerging customer needs in a continually evolving threat landscape,” according to Michael DeCesare, McAfee President.

Writing on his blog, McAfee’s Pat Calhoun – Senior VP and GM of Network Security – explains what the deal will mean for the company’s products and customers:

“McAfee already designs and deploys a high-assurance firewall, which provides protection to the world’s most critical networks including government agencies.  With this acquisition, I am extremely confident that we can deliver a next-generation firewall with the cutting-edge, technology from Stonesoft that is designed to meet the needs of an entirely new larger enterprise segment.”

That latter point was reemphasised by Stonesoft CEO Ilkka Hiidenheimo who said in a statement:

“Combined, we believe we can offer our customers a world-class product portfolio with world-class support – all backed by Intel.”

McAfee was reported to have come close to buying enterprise mobility firm Good Technology last year. The company itself was bought by Intel for $7.7 billion in August 2010.

Headline image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images