US arms dealer Raytheon buys internet security firm Websense for a reported $1.9 billion

In an attempt to create what they are calling a "first-of-its-kind commercial cybersecurity company specifically designed to meet the needs of the evolving cybersecurity environment", US arms manufacturer Raytheon Co and Websense Inc are combining to form a unit reporting through Raytheon to provide military-grade web security to their customers. The deal will involve Vista Equity Partners LLC in a complicated reorganization that will leave the new security company reporting directly to Raytheon management.

The new company will create what Raytheon is calling "4D Cyber Security" and is being hailed as a new kind of cyber security, but the logo and Raytheon press materials are already making it look much more like cyber warfare, saying this in their press release

The new company will leverage Raytheon's advanced cybersecurity technologies and Websense's industry leading TRITON® platform to provide a new level of defense-grade cybersecurity to combat the evolving cyber threat environment.

The release then goes on to cite their four D's, Defend, Detect, Decide, and Defeat. This is already a radical shift from Websense's former about-us headline: Providing the best security for modern threats at the lowest total cost of ownership.

While Raytheon is primarily a supplier of tactical military technology, including such delights as HARM (High-Speed Anti Radiation Missile) and JWS (Joint Warfighting Solutions) in recent years they have been getting into providing high quality encryption, and secure computer solutions alongside their more obvious weapons. Websense, however, is a commercial security provider and researcher that sells their web filtering solutions to companies, schools and the public sector all over the world.

Because of the obvious sensitivity of having their deep packet inspection done by a US arms dealer, this might cause some backlash with existing international Websense customers. The potential for defense grade web protection will, however, likely be enticing to some major web players who can become the target of other countries in aggressive cyber attacks.

Source: Raytheon via Reuters | Image: Raytheon

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