Websense closed its acquisition of SurfControl Oct. 3, opening a new phase for the company.
The roughly $416 million acquisition represents a major milestone in an 18-month journey since Gene Hodges took the helm as CEO of Websense, in San Diego. It is the companys second major acquisition to close in 2007. The first, PortAuthority Technologies, was meant to shore up Websenses ability to prevent internal data leaks.
“Now with the acquisition of SurfControl, we kind of complete the first stage of the strategy and really position Websense for the next round of growth, which is adding the e-mail and messaging security products and also the on-demand service, the software-as-a-service offering from SurfControl,” said Leo Cole, Websense vice president of marketing.
Websense officials call the combination “intelligent content protection”—the safeguarding of information from inbound and outbound threats.
The companys products now span Web security, e-mail and spam filtering, and data leak prevention products. SurfControls on-demand platform will be used to bolster Websenses ThreatSeeker technology, which scans more than 600 million Web sites each week and categorizes Web-based security threats. SurfControls on-demand platform processes more than 350 million e-mails per week, keeping watch for e-mail-based threats such as spam.
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“The combination of these two we believe provides an unparalleled repository of the source of mal[icious] code on the Internet,” Cole said.
There are also plans to supplement SurfControls database with information from Websenses URL database of more than 30 million Web sites, including more than 200,000 high-risk sites, by the first calendar quarter of 2008. In addition, the company will continue to invest in SurfControls on-demand products, MailControl and WebDefense.
With SurfControl now officially under its wing, Websense has a customer base numbering about 50,000, Cole said. Keeping SurfControls customers is an important focus, he added.
To that end, Websense has pledged to continue support for SurfControls Web filter and mobile filter products through 2011, and customers can renew their annual subscriptions to SurfControl Web Filter and Mobile Filter subscriptions the first time at the same price as the previous subscription.
“Were supporting this through at least 2011 to give customers time to migrate to a Websense platform,” Cole said. “So theres no operational impact to customers. They can take their time, work with their resellers to plan a migration.”
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