The market for cloud application security broker (CASB) technologies is red hot, as organizations of all sizes come to terms with how to secure cloud application usage. As evidence of how hot the market is, today Blue Coat announced its plans to acquire CASB vendor Elastica for $280 million.
The acquisition of Elastica marks the second CASB vendor to be acquired in the last three months. Adallom was acquired by Microsoft for $320 million in September. Just last week, Cisco announced its own cloud access security offering, which includes a reseller agreement with Elastica.
The reason Blue Coat decided to buy Elastica rather than build its own CASB technology has to do with maturity and time to market.
"Elastica has such a technology lead in this space that to continue with our own development or to even acquire some of the other players in this space would represent a significant technology deficit compared to what Elastica already has in production," Mike Fey, president and chief operating officer, told eWEEK.
The Elastica CloudSOC (Security Operations Center) enables organizations to deploy a true data platform allowing for advanced analytics and machine learning to deliver on the requirements of the CASB space, Fey said. The CASB technology enables organizations to get visibility and control over cloud application usage. He added that Elastica's technology provides a flexible approach to cloud security.
Blue Coat has found solid adoption across Fortune 2000 companies, and Elastica has focused primarily on that same market, Fey said.
"Consequently, almost all of Elastica's customers are in common with Blue Coat," Fey said.
The deal's closing is "imminent," Fey said, adding that the Elastica brand is very strong and well-respected in the marketplace.
"We have some work to do to maintain the positive momentum that has driven Elastica's brand and business to this point, while also creating a solution framework that is logical to our customers and channel," Fey said.
From an employee perspective, a big driver of the purchase of Elastica was the people behind the products, Fey said. He noted that Blue Coat's investment in the CASB space is not one of driving efficiencies, but of growth and seizing market opportunity.
"As a result, the Elastica employees are important to acting on that mission, and as such, we hope that all of them want to stay as part of the Blue Coat family," Fey said.
The two companies have worked together previously.
"Prior to the acquisition, Elastica's CloudSOC already had a very strong integration into Blue Coat solutions, and over time we will strengthen this with common UIs [user interfaces] and common controls and policy," Fey said. "Additionally, they have an advanced architecture that fits very well with our cloud offering."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.