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December 6, 2015

Inside the new Raytheon|Websense venture

Analysis: Big announcement to come early in the new year.

By Charlotte Henry

Raytheon, known for its work in the defence industry, put the best part of $2bn into a joint venture with the cyber security provider Websense in April this year. The two have come together to create a new joint venture called Raytheon|Websense.

From the outside there seems to be a discrepancy between the work in the defence and governments sector that Raytheon built its name on, and the more commercial facing products offered by Websense.

However, Carl Leonard, principle security adviser, says that this is not the case, and that the deal works well in practical terms. He uses sandboxing as an example:"The suite of technologies that Raytheon have brought to the venture are branded as SureView, so they have a sandbox, and that is an on premise sandbox.

"The Websense side of the party has a sandbox also, that’s more of a cloud based scenario, so now our customers can really take a look what sort of deployment actions they want."

He also says that "already we’re seeing the benefit of the defence grade capabilities that the Raytheon products have along with the telemetry that they have for protecting against the most advanced threats."

Websense has previously had clients in the government and defence sectors too, Leonard points out, also helping to make the collaboration smoother. Now all its clients "can gain is for the technologies that otherwise would have been traditionally sold within the US markets in which Raytheon operates."

For example "some of the SureView suite, and other products that allow for segregation networks, in fact the safe sharing of information across those, they can now benefit from that." Furthermore, he says that Websense’s customers now have "even more controls they can implement".

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Ultimately, the joint venture "allows us to raise the protection bar for the commercial customers", while also making security an enabler for non-commercial customers, so they can use popular solutions such as "file sharing or the download of apps onto your mobile phone or Google Docs or Office 365."

The firm now gather security intelligence from a wider range of sectors, Leonard himself works with a team of 100 security researchers who process 5bn pieces of data every day, helping them identify more trends and threats.

It is also involved in "collaboration with elite law enforcement and other forums to discuss some of these complex, advanced threats that otherwise are reserved by the cyber criminals for those seemingly most secured organisations in the world."

The integration is clearly still in its early stages, and Leonard tells CBR to keep our eyes peeled for an announcement on January 14th 2016. "We’ve got all of our clocks around the business counting down to that date," he says.

While he declines to reveal any secrets, he says that it’s going to be "a very important date in the combination of the companies," hinting at further amalgamation news.

No doubt the cyber security industry is watching with interest.

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