Blue Coat has confirmed plans to acquire Solera Networks, pledging that the move will let it offer new analytics-based services capable of warding off the new wave of evolved threats to businesses.
The firm announced the purchase early on Wednesday confirming that it is the opening step in a wider strategy shift designed to fix problems in most businesses' outdated, productivity-hampering, perimeter-based cyber defences.
Blue Coat president David Murphy told V3: "Many companies are frustrated by the barriers that traditional security networks in IT are putting in place, relative to what's available. We're not saying you shouldn't continue to do some of the core things, just that there a couple of key arenas that have been missing. We're closing to acquire Solera Networks, which is a leader in the ability to bring this deep inspection, recording capability and intelligence to the business as well as the security team."
Murphy declined to disclose the financial details of the acquisition, but did confirm it will see Blue Coat take control of the intelligence analytics and cyber forensics firm's 300 customers and 140 employees. The figure adds to Blue Coat's already impressive 15,000 customer base.
The chief said Solera's technology will be used to create several new service centres for Blue Coat customers. These include a Business Assurance Technology Resolution Center, a Policy Enforcement Center, a Mobility Empowerment Center, a Trusted Application Center and a Performance Center. The centres will offer businesses real-time analytics on their networks, making it easier for managers to mitigate threats and sensibly implement flexible device and application management policies.
"There are about 1.2 billion mobile applications in the market place today. The old model of trying to classify them by brute force doesn't work. We've built technology that allows you to bring all of those applications into a managed environment in an analytically-based way using an intelligence-based approach," he said. "What Solera does is allow you to create a kind of Tivo of the entire set of activities that's gone on for six months or a year."
Murphy highlighted the recent influx of targeted attacks hitting enterprise networks as further proof of the need for a change in strategy. "When one of these advanced attacks appears, one of the challenges now is that what you find at the instant it attacks has nothing really to do with the last three to six months of activity that led to that server being compromised," he said.
"We believe in order to be agile, you need the intelligence to go back to the cause, get full scope and redeploy defence measures around these advanced threats, which are much more personalised than the generic ones that have targeted network security in the past."
The Blue Coat chief said that by letting IT managers be more agile, businesses will be stop employees going round security measures, thus reducing the number of attack vectors open to hackers.
"Exchange is an example of this. In many companies Exchange has a file size limit of 20MB to 25MB. We know you can go and use DropBox and move any significant content we need to that way – we're going to work round Exchange if Exchange doesn't work," said Murphy. "In this case we have to allow the business to make a decision about what to do and support business DropBox use case as opposed to just saying you can't move files of that size, which frankly is ridiculous, people will still do it, but they'll do it in a rogue way."
Murphy's comments mirror those of several other technology firms. SAP chairman Hasso Plattner and head of technology and innovation Vishal Sikka have warned that businesses need lighting-fast analytics and monitoring services like HANA to combat the evolved cyber threat facing them.
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