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EMC, the world’s largest maker of data storage equipment and software, on Monday announced the acquisition of Network Intelligence, a provider of data security services, for $175m in cash.

The move, which came as EMC announced the completion of its $2.1bn acquisition of RSA Security, a maker of user authentication tools, is part of a campaign by Joe Tucci, EMC’s chief executive, to turn the company into a leading data security company.

It comes at a time of heightened concern about the security of data being compiled by companies and government agencies.

“The battlefront in security has quickly shifted from securing the network perimeter to protecting and securing the information itself – wherever that information lives and wherever it moves,” said Mr Tucci.

He said the addition of RSA and Network Intelligence would help EMC offer customers ways to secure sensitive information while reducing the cost of complying with new laws governing data storage and protection.

Recent scandals involving the loss of personal data – such as the loss of a US Veterans Administration laptop containing private information about thousands of servicemen – have underlined the need for tighter security as it becomes easier to move data from place to place.

The profusion of wireless technologies, web-based e-mail, thumb-drives and other small storage devices has contributed to concern among corporate IT chiefs.

Monday’s acquisition was the latest in a string of deals by EMC under Mr Tucci, who has repositioned the company as the world’s largest provider of complex computers and software for data storage.

Other acquisitions include VMware, a supplier of software that allows companies to spread complex computing tasks across networks.

EMC’s shares were little changed on Monday at $11.26. They had fallen from a high of $14.58 in March.

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