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In a surprise move, Blue Coat Systems Monday made its second cloud access security broker acquisition this year with a $280 million deal for San Jose-based startup Elastica, Inc.
The move further expands Blue Coat's cloud security presence and adds additional cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality to the vendor's portfolio. Blue Coat earlier this year acquired another CASB in Perspecsys, a Toronto-based cloud security vendor, for an undisclosed amount.
Elastica has been one of several CASBs making headlines this year. The company, which came out of stealth mode in 2014, raised $30 million in series B venture capital funding in March and struck a reseller partnership with Cisco where the networking giant would sell Elastica's CloudSOC platform, which enforces security policies and controls for cloud apps and uses machine learning to monitor and analyze usage and user behavior, to its customers.
According the Blue Coat's announcement of the deal, Elastica's CloudSOC platform will complement Blue Coat's existing Web security products for both on-premise and cloud environments.
"As we evaluated many CASB players, it was clear that Elastica's technologies represent the future of the CASB space," said Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark said in a press statement. "Segmented CASB players have survived through their dependency upon existing on-premise infrastructure. As the industry's leading web security platform, it is natural for Blue Coat to be the first to deliver an extended spectrum of CASB capabilities while also delivering them with our cloud protection solutions."
Blue Coat's announcement makes no mention of Perspecsys.
While Elastica and Perspecsys are both CASBs, the two vendors offer somewhat different approaches. In a recent report on cloud security gateways, Forrester Research analysts Andras Cser and Rick Holland identified Perspecsys as part of the cloud data protection segment of the CASB market because the vendor is focused on encryption and data governance (Skyhigh Networks and CipherCloud are other CASBs also in this segement).
Meanwhile, the Forrester report included Elastica in the cloud access security intelligence (CASI) segment due to the vendor's concentration on cloud application discovery and monitoring (other companies in this space include Netskope and Adallom, which was acquired recently by Microsoft). In addition, the Forrester report states that Web security vendors like Blue Coat often integrate with CASI services but that vendors are also concerned that CASBs will disrupt their existing business.
In August, Blue Coat COO Mike Fey told SearchSecurity that Perspecsys' patented encryption and tokenization capabilities were differentiators, and that it would have been a challenge for his company to build that functionality from scratch. Given the two different CASB approaches, Perspecsys' data protection capabilities could be integrated with Elastica's CloudSOC monitoring and analysis features.
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