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Blue Coat merges CASBs with Web gateway security

After acquiring two cloud access security brokers this year, Blue Coat Systems has united CASB capabilities with its Web gateway security technology under a new cloud security strategy.

Blue Coat Systems Inc. unveiled a new cloud security strategy and a Cloud Generation Web Gateway suite of new products that will combine recently acquired cloud access security brokers (CASBs) with the company's Web gateway security technology.

The security vendor, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., bought CASB startup Elastica Inc. of San Jose, Calif., for $280 million earlier this month. Prior to that, Blue Coat acquired Toronto-based CASB Perspecsys for an undisclosed amount in July.

As part of the Cloud Generation strategy, which unites those CASB offerings with the company's existing technology, Blue Coat announced five new products:

  • CASB Visibility and Access Security, which extends the vendor's Web gateway security products to cloud applications;
  • Cloud Data Protection, which leverages tokenization capabilities from Perspecsys to protect corporate data in the cloud;
  • Advanced Secure Gateway, which provides content analysis for advanced threat protection;
  • Cloud Generation Intelligence Services, which provides cloud and Web application-focused data from Blue Coat's Global Intelligence Network; and
  • Integrated WAF (Web application firewall) for protecting Web and cloud applications.

Michael Fey, COO of Blue Coat, said the company was "uniquely positioned" in the cloud security market because of its Web gateway security heritage and new CASB acquisitions.

"We've spent about a half-billion dollars on cloud security [internally and on acquisitions] over the last year," he said. "And the Web gateway is one of the few security products from traditional network stack that can be extended to the cloud, so I think we're in a good position."

Blue Coat said it plans to add Elastica's CloudSOC platform capabilities, such as data loss prevention and security policy enforcement, into the Cloud Generation Web Gateway suite. Fey also said Elastica was different from other CASBs that Blue Coat looked at, because its CloudSOC platform can handle many different cloud applications, while other CASBs specifically tailor their products around a handful of top software as a service offerings -- such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Drive.

The decision to acquire Elastica was part of the plan all along. After the Perspecsys announcement, we called Rehan [Jalil, Elastica CEO] and told him we still wanted to do a deal with Elastica.
Michael FeyCOO of Blue Coat Systems

Despite having some overlapping CASB features, Fey said Elastica's CloudSOC platform will mesh well with Perspecsys' tokenization capabilities. He also said that it was always part of Blue Coat's plan to acquire another CASB after its purchase of Perspecsys earlier this year.

"The decision to acquire Elastica was part of the plan all along," he said. "After the Perspecsys announcement, we called Rehan [Jalil, Elastica CEO] and told him we still wanted to do a deal with Elastica."

So, after making aggressive CASB acquisitions in the span of just a few months, is Blue Coat done with cloud security acquisitions? Fey isn't closing the window.

"I think we have a pretty complete picture right now," he said. "But we're fortunate that we have a strong balance sheet, and we're growing and we're profitable, so we're open to possibilities. There are a lot of companies out there that are overfunded and are going to have to face the music soon, so if there's an opportunity that we just can't pass up, then we'll do it."

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