Author: Mike Batters
Raytheon | Websense are set to acquire the firewall appliance division of Intel Security (formerly McAfee) which produces both the NextGen Firewall & Firewall Enterprise, as reported by CRN (27/10/2015) with further confirmation coming from fortune.com the following day.
It is less than 3 years since McAfee purchased StoneSoft to gain the StoneGate firewall technology (now NGFW) to complement it’s established Firewall Enterprise product set. Historically this technology was strong in the Public Sector, Defence, Finance and large enterprise. Intel Security’s recent strategic change of direction see’s a streamlining of the product portfolio and to-date the Firewall appliances and E-Mail Security divisions have been affected.
Any acquisition of technology brings a level of user uncertainty and makes existing & potential customers unsure of what the future may hold and how it will affect the product support & development in the future. Intel Security (McAfee) acquired both Firewall Enterprise (previously Secure Computing Sidewinder G2) and NextGen Firewall (previously StoneGate) and via these acquisition’s, continued to develop the products by integrating McAfee’s proprietary technologies, such as Global Threat Intelligence, adding value to products which was all very beneficial. However, being part of such a large global enterprise there was always the feeling the development and business teams were less agile and dynamic and more caught up in the corporate red tape.
Raytheon acquired Websense Q2 2015 and formed a separate business unit encompassing the existing Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense with a mission to “combine Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense capabilities to deliver the advanced, defence-grade technology solutions needed to meet this evolving threat” according to Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Company Chairman and CEO in his statement.
It now looks like Raytheon will now add two market leading, mature, enterprise grade firewall technologies to the mix enhancing the portfolio significantly. As reports indicate the firewall teams will move with the technology. On the face of it, it appears the development will once again be part of a smaller, highly focused business with a very clear objective to develop technologies to protect and defend against the ever changing threat landscape. It is very early days however I believe this is a very positive message for both existing customers and those considering Firewall Enterprise and NGFW solutions.
There will inevitably be cross pollination of technology between the product teams within the group and i would expect to see more news soon about the future of Raytheon’s Cyber Security business.
In parallel with this announcement Intel Security also announced the End of Life of it’s Mail Gateway e-mail security solution recommending existing customers migrate to Proofpoint’s Enterprise or Essentials e-mail protection systems via a Proofpoint Partner.