Total Defense announced it has acquired iSheriff, a provider of cloud-based e-mail and Internet security, not even two months after the vendor launched its Total Defense Cloud Security offering to protect business users from Web and e-mail threats. According to the two companies, the combined duo will be able to offer even more robust SaaS-based security solutions.

The two technologies aim to do the same thing: protect businesses from potential attacks and cybercrime. Total Defense, which lays claim to protecting more than 40,000 business and more than 4 million consumers, launched its cloud security service May 22.

Total Defense Cloud Security provides much of the same functionality as iSheriff's Security as a Service in the Cloud, so it's a wonder why the folks at Total Defense decided they needed to beef up their fledgling cloud offering -- unless they were looking to remove a competitor from the business and gain a foothold in the cloud security market by buying a customer base.

But Total Defense CEO Peter Lipman said an effective security solution requires a multilayered approach; hence, the acquisition.

"As the security industry transitions, our acquisition of iSheriff puts us at the forefront of Internet security firms by providing customers solid, best-of-breed, integrated security that's managed through the cloud. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to truly make an impact and change the dynamic of the security market," Lipman said in a prepared statement.

Additionally, the two previously competing products are sold through networks of channel partners -- networks that now will have to be combined, which is sometimes a tricky proposition for vendors. How does a vendor keep the strengths of two overlapping products while keeping channel partners on both sides of the fence happy?

Oscar Marquez, CEO and director of iSheriff, noted in a prepared statement that the two companies share similar visions. He added that "Total Defense's large base of customers and extensive network of global partners will quickly accelerate the growth of our cloud offerings," while iSheriff's solution will give its new owner a "multitenant solution to provision and manage their customers, partners and OEM providers."

However the merging of two cloud brands will eventually work out, it's probably fair to say channel partners on both sides of the merger will end up with a stronger combined SaaS security solution they can take to their customers.