In a move designed to expand its security offerings, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Israel-based Whale Communications. Microsoft intends to compliment its Windows Server and Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server) offerings with Whale's SSL VPN and application firewall technologies.

“Our customers are faced with balancing the need to protect their data and network infrastructure with the connectivity needs of an increasingly mobile work force,” said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Security, Access and Solutions Division at Microsoft. “We are committed to providing a comprehensive secure access platform that helps customers easily extend and manage the reach of their information systems. The acquisition of Whale’s complementary technologies is a key part of meeting that commitment.

Founded in 1998, Whale's product line has expanded since 2000 from proxy servers into SSL-related technologies. Its current suite of solutions are designed for small, medium, and large businesses and provide remote access, access controls, and deep content inspection.

“We built our company and technologies around the key customer requirement of secure, anywhere, anytime remote access to business applications,” said Roger Pilc, CEO of Whale Communications. “We’re excited about what this acquisition will mean for our customers given Microsoft’s focus on providing policy-based secure access to information assets from beyond the corporate network.”

Terms of the deal were not announced however the acquisition will reportedly cost Microsoft as much as $80 million.