Blue Coat Buys Intel-Backed Solera Networks To Beef Up In Big Data, Encrypted Data Security

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Web security provider Blue Coat Systems — itself acquired in a $1.3 billion deal by Thoma Bravo at the end of December 2011 — is making an acquisition today: it’s buying Solera Networks, a specialist in big data security, for an undisclosed sum (although we have reached out to the company to ask). The deal is expected to close in the next thirty days.

Solera, founded in 2005, had raised just over $51 million in VC funds, including a Series D of $20 million from Intel Capital last January.

This looks to be the fourth acquisition for Blue Coat and part of what appears to be a brief shopping spree by the company. Most recently — earlier this month, in fact — Blue Coat bought SSL technology from Netronome for an undisclosed amount. That service, focusing on programmable semiconductor products — will complement the Solera acquisition. The two startups already work together, with Solera integrating its monitoring technology into Netronome’s products to specifically target encrypted traffic.

In total, Blue Coat has spent some $268 million on acquisitions, not including today’s deal.

The Solera acquisition will add the company’s DeepSee platform to Blue Coat’s security range and will give it the capability to process large data files of network traffic to assess for security threats.

“The future of the industry is moving beyond just blocking malware and stopping targeted attacks to also identifying and resolving the full scope of the attacks in real time,” said Greg Clark, CEO at Blue Coat Systems, in a statement. “Retrospective capture and analytics are now an essential component of modern security architecture, and Solera has pioneered this field, creating a DVR for the network that records traffic and allows customers to easily mine that information.”

Together the companies will have a user base that covers 75 million users across 15,000 enterprise customers, including what Blue Coat says is 86% of the Fortune Global 500. The company says it rates more than one billion Web requests per day. Solera’s customer base includes the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security and Defense, Hitachi, Qualcomm, Overstock.com, Parsons Corporation and Zions Bank.

Steve Shillingford, CEO at Solera Networks, describes the company’s technology as a “security camera” on a network. “Along with the big data security analytics and intelligence needed to see zero-day threats and advanced cyberattacks in real-time, Solera DeepSee provides unmatched security forensics to help enterprises answer critical post-breach questions on the nature of the attack and how to prevent it in the future,” he noted in a statement.

The news comes at the same time that Blue Coat has revamped its whole security portfolio into five areas — Security and Policy Enforcement Center (for business continuity);
Mobility Empowerment Center; Trusted Application Center (for apps); Performance Center (for IT infrastructure); Resolution Center (for deep security analysis; likely where Solera will reside).