Raytheon names enterprise security spinout Forcepoint

Raytheon has given a name to the enterprise security business it has been piecing together for the past few years: Forcepoint.

The new entity that it is spinning out rolls up Raytheon Cyber Products, Websense (which the company bought an 80% share in last year), and next generation firewall vendor Stonesoft that Raytheon agreed to buy last fall and now owns.

Forcepoint says its plan is to continue integrating products from the three entities so it can offer a range of protections including Web, email and endpoint security, data loss protection, firewalling and analytics all under one cloud-based umbrella.

Raytheon’s history supplying products to the Department of Defense demonstrates its broad expertise that could be transferred to mainstream enterprises, says Chris Christiansen, an analyst with IDC. “It remains to be seen what they do with integrating products, how they leverage their government experience, whether they can expand out,” to general enterprises, he says.

He says Raytheon has tried before and failed to do this, but this time it seems to have addressed problems including creating a separate business entity with its own management to run things, developing sales channels that enterprise customers are familiar with.

Forcepoint is a joint venture of Raytheon and Vista Equity Partners with Raytheon being the majority partner. That gives it financial stability, says Mike Siegel, vice president of product management for Forcepoint, by virtue of Raytheon’s deep pockets that can guarantee a “multi-year commitment” of funding, he says.

A hallmark of the company will be a cloud-first focus that shares intelligence across the cloud from gateways, endpoints and other security tools, analyzes it and issues alerts to the most pressing threats, he says. Automating the analysis will reduce what the company calls dwell time – the time between a compromise and when it is remediated – and therefore reduce the damage attacks have.

An Enterprise Strategy Group white paper last spring about Raytheon’s interest in enterprise security said, “Raytheon may not be the most familiar name to cybersecurity professionals in the private sector, but given its SureView Suite, experience, and innovative visual analytics, CISOs would be wise to see how the company aligns with their cybersecurity strategy moving forward.”

Along with the new name the company is announcing SureView Insider Threat endpoint protection that evaluates user activity for possible malicious behavior and triggers defensive actions if it finds any. The company has upgraded its TRITON data security platform to support Microsoft Exchange in Office 365 within Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Forcepoint says it is working on integration of the Stonesoft next-generation firewall this year, and will retain the Stonesoft name.

Forcepoint is starting off with about 20,000 customers ranging from businesses with 50 employees to 200,000 employees. It has about 2,200 employees in 44 offices worldwide with headquarters in Austin, Texas.


Tim Greene

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