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Blue Coat Plants Stake In Cloud Access Security Brokerage Market With Perspecsys Acquisition

Blue Coat says its acquisition of cloud security startup Perspecsys will position partners to grab major share in the "massive" opportunity it sees around cloud access security brokerage.

Blue Coat acquired cloud security startup Perspecsys Thursday, a move the security vendor said would position partners to grab major share in the "massive" opportunity it sees around cloud access security brokerage.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Perspecsys is an enterprise cloud data protection startup, with a solution that uses data tokenization and encryption to protect cloud applications. The Perspecsys technology will be integrated directly into the Blue Coat gateways and cloud as an optional service that can be turned on by partners.

[Related: Report: United Airlines Breached By China-Based Hackers]

For a company the size of Blue Coat -- which was recently acquired for $2.4 billion by Bain Capital as it marches toward an IPO -- to plant a stake in the market sends a message to startups like Skyhigh Networks and Cipher Cloud, which are looking for a piece of the multi-billion market opportunity, President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Fey said in an interview with CRN.

"The fact that we acquired additional technology in this market will send a bit of a shockwave," Fey said. "Blue Coat basically just sent a shot across the bow to startups that we plan on owning this space."

Blue Coat's push into cloud access security brokerage is part of a larger strategy by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based security vendor to invest heavily in its cloud security portfolio, Fey said.

"At the end of the day, this is all part of a larger plan that we're working towards to deliver a cloud-based platform that can ensure you're protected regardless of the device, regardless of where you go, regardless of your company posture, they can enact their will and capabilities in their environment as the perimeter dissolves," Fey said.

For partners, that means a larger total addressable market under a single comprehensive vendor solution with that builds their security posture to coax more cloud adoption with customers, Fey said.

"Our partners have heavily invested in Blue Coat over the years – this acquisition allows them to expand on the solutions they bring to customers, it allows them to bring more value to customers," Fey said. "It's a very hectic world in security right now and wherever you can simplify and strengthen the security posture in one step, everyone is excited about that."


Ken Dickey, assistant vice president of business development for Cincinnati, Ohio-based Cadre Information Security, a Blue Coat partner, said he has seen the vendor investing heavily in its hybrid cloud offerings, but that business has faced "resistance" because of cloud shy customers. He said he expects the Perspecsys acquisition could help quiet some of that concern from customers.

"A big barrier in going to the cloud for a lot of companies is that the infrastructure is accessible by entities other than itself and being able to tokenize and encrypt data does remove some barriers for some companies," Dickey said.

While he doesn't expect to use the tool internally, Dickey said "it does give us additional tools to offer our customers that are moving to the cloud," which translates to more revenue.

In addition to continuing to boost its cloud security portfolio, Dickey said he would like to see Blue Coat also invest around security analytics and endpoint detection and response. He cited the company's Wednesday launch of an Endpoint Alliance Ecosystem as a good step the company has already made in that direction.

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