​Raytheon Websense rebrands as Forcepoint, acquires Intel Security's Stonesoft

Cybersecurity firm Raytheon Websense has acquired Intel Security's firewall business, with the three companies to be known collectively as Forcepoint.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Texas-based cybersecurity firm Raytheon Websense has acquired firewall business Stonesoft from Intel Security with the companies to now be known as Forcepoint.

"When you merge these three entities, all with a very strong brand and you want to take to the market a new approach, then it pretty much needed a rebrand in order to help customers and partners realise what you are trying to achieve," Maury Garavello, APAC vice president of Raytheon Websense and now Forcepoint, said.

Forcepoint's acquisition of Stonesoft brings with it the company's next-generation firewall (NGFW) and Sidewinder proxy firewall technologies, with the newly-named business saying the new purchase will expand the cloud and hybrid capabilities of Forcepoint's Triton security platform.

Whilst Garavello said the dollar value of the deal cannot be disclosed, McAfee paid $389 million in cash for Stonesoft almost three years ago.

At the time, Intel-owned McAfee -- which was renamed as Intel Security in 2014 -- said the acquisition of the Finnish security firm was expected to extend its leadership position in network security, making a further push towards the enterprise sector.

"With the pending addition of Stonesoft's products and services, McAfee is making a significant investment in next-generation firewall technology," Michael DeCesare, McAfee president said at the time. "These solutions anticipate emerging customer needs in a continually evolving threat landscape ... Stonesoft is a leading innovator in this important market segment."

DeCesare said McAfee planned to integrate Stonesoft's offerings with other McAfee products to "realise the power of McAfee's Security Connected strategy".

In 2013, Stonesoft had 6,500 customers globally which were then integrated with McAfee's own customer base. As Forcepoint now wholly owns Stonesoft, the firewall-focused company's entire customer database comes along, as well.

Less than a year ago, Raytheon partnered with private equity firm Vista Equity Partners to acquire Websense for $1.9 billion. Raytheon paid $1.57 billion for an 80.3 percent stake and Vista Equity paid $335 million for the remaining 19.7 percent.

According to Raytheon, the value of the venture named Raytheon Websense was estimated to be about $2.3 billion.

As part of the company's debut, Forcepoint has also released three new core products.

The first is centred on insider threat detection with a product called SureView Insider Threat that gives customers an early warning system, automatically identifying the riskiest users within an organisation, as well as information received from Forcepoint's data loss prevention solution.

"Insider threat can be malicious, sometimes it is unintentional but at the very end it's a problem," Garavello said. "At the end of the day for a company, this doesn't change -- one way or another it's losing assets."

The second is cloud-based protection for Microsoft's Office 365 with Forcepoint's Triton platform natively hosted in Microsoft Azure. Whilst a partnership with Microsoft is not new, Garavello called the offering an evolution, saying clients had been previously using the solution on premise; however it will now be offered in the cloud.

"Office 365 is now the de facto for any enterprise, and the penetration in Australia is pretty big," he said. "As companies are moving to cloud, we need to move our security solution to cloud."

Garavello said Forcepoint also uses "cloud first" as its internal motto, which means that whatever the company invents needs to be ready for the cloud.

The last new offering comes as a direct result of the Stonesoft acquisition, and will see Forcepoint deliver the NGFW as a product.

Garavello said that for existing Raytheon, Websense, and Stonesoft clients, nothing is expected to change.

"Contractually, it will stay the same and the solution you have in place will keep working until the natural expiration," he said.

Garavello said the difference however is that the client will be dealing with a much larger and more solid company, with the 11 year Websense veteran adding that given the previous experience of the three individual companies, he expects Forcepoint's future to be financially stable.

"It means that we don't have any fear in our future. We are super stable and we have years and years ahead of us for growth."

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