The vultures are already circling around Sanctum, the web application security company acquired by Watchfire last Monday.

Already, at least two rival companies – Kavado and SPI Dynamics - have rushed out special migration deals to woo Sanctum's customer base, arguing that under Watchfire, the Sanctum products will receive less investment.

"Sanctum has been trying to sell the company for the last year," said Brian Cohen, chief executive officer of SPI Dynamics, "and Watchfire is not known as a security company. They have no reputation in that space." Cohen claimed that several Sanctum customers had already contacted him about switching. Sanctum claims to have more than 500 customers worldwide.

At Kavado, president and CEO Vik Desai said that with only half of Sanctum's staff expected to stay with the company, customers could expect to get less attention. He said he is also running a campaign to recruit Sanctum resellers.

But Michael Weider, founder and chief technology officer of Watchfire hit back, saying that "90 percent of Sanctum's staff will stay, and virtually all research and development will stay." He insisted that Watchfire's own enterprise WebXM system, which scans web applications for a range of factors, including privacy compliance will dovetail well with Sanctum's AppScan and AppShield products. He said both development teams had been working together for two months already, and he promised a product combining the two companies' technology by the fall.

He described the offers from Kavado and SPI as "cheap moves by desperate people."