Webroot Acquires SaaS Security Start-Up BrightCloud

SaaS security startup BrightCloud, founded in 2005, provides Web reputation and content classification technology aimed at mitigating security threats delivered over the Web. BrightCloud, based in San Diego, Calif., will be folded into Webroot's Cloud Engineering team with an expanded focus on hosted security services. Eventually Webroot will merge BrightCloud's technology into combined products with its own malware detection and existing SaaS capabilities.

Webroot executives contend that Web site classification and reputation technologies gained through the merger will give the company a competitive leg up in the SaaS marketplace.

"(Web site classification and reputation) is an area we really felt we wanted to own," said Brian Czarny, vice president of product management at Webroot. "This is a set of core technologies that we're going to be able to leverage across all of our products. It's going to be a core area for us. That will translate into specific features for all of our business products."

Specifically, the acquisition will enable Webroot to build new services that incorporate Web site classification and reputation provided to its customer base. The BrightCloud services will be integrated into Webroot's existing cloud portfolio, which includes Webroot Web Security Services, an antimalware service, and Webroot Internet Security Complete, a new product the company plans on launching later this month.

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Czarny said that Webroot, which OEMs BrightCloud's technology, also planned to leverage BrightCloud's existing OEM business to expand its own partnerships. In addition, Webroot's planned global expansion will be bolstered by BrightCloud's support for more than 30 languages, he added.

Altogether, BrightCloud maintains data on more than 200 million URLS and IP addresses used to classify content and detect and block malicious sites.

The addition of Web classification technologies will provide Webroot channel partners another tool to add to their portfolio, Czarny said.

"It's going to market all of our products that they sell that much better," Czarny said. "We're going to be able to market the products better from a technology perspective and new and innovative features that they can't get from other products in the market today."

For BrightCloud, the acquisition will give it expanded market reach and a more comprehensive portfolio of products.

"We are very excited to become a part of Webroot," said Quinn Curtis, president and CEO of BrightCloud, in a statement. "This merger will enable us to provide even greater protection, service and value to our customers and partners, and the strength of the Webroot brand and its technology portfolio will help us reach new markets."

Webroot did not disclose the terms of the deal.