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Raytheon cybersecurity bolstered by Websense acquisition

Vista sells majority stake in security provider Websense to boost Raytheon cybersecurity defense amidst copious information breaches.

Defense contracting giant Raytheon announced Monday an agreement to acquire network security provider Websense from Vista Equity Partners LLC, combining the newly purchased company with its Cyber Products and Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) branch, and boosting Raytheon cybersecurity defense.

The weapons manufacturer, based in Waltham, Mass.,  agreed to pay $1.9 billion for an 80% stake in the cybersecurity group in hopes of delivering defense-grade cybersecurity to commercial markets. According to Raytheon, customers -- with the help of Websense's Triton platform -- will now have the ability to defend against complex cybersecurity threats, discover breaches and leverage security analytics to respond in kind.

"The market for advanced cyber solutions that protect and defend global industry and infrastructure is rapidly growing due to the sophisticated threats posed by well-funded, nation-state adversaries and criminal networks," said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Company Chairman and CEO, in a press statement. "The new joint venture will combine Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense capabilities to deliver the advanced, defense-grade technology solutions needed to meet this evolving threat."

Raytheon made the deal in a time when many enterprises are struggling with information security. The manufacturer is one of many companies taking hints from the breaches of such goliaths as Target, Sony Pictures, Staples and Anthem.

"We believe the combination of Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense creates a strong foundation for growth in the cybersecurity market, especially in light of the combined technical, product and multi-channel strengths each brings to the table," Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista Equity Partners, said in a press statement. "We are excited to invest in this new venture as we clearly see its ability to accelerate growth and create value for all parties."

The combined company will require the formation of a new board of directors, representing both Raytheon and Vista, according to Raytheon. It will be led by current Websense CEO John McCormack.           

McCormack vows to "serve customers as they manage the emerging and long-term cyberthreat environment."

Next Steps

Check out why some experts think Websense Enterprise 5.5 can help enterprises bolster Internet filtering.

The Websense 2015 Threat Report has experts disagreeing, find out why.

Dig Deeper on Security vendor mergers and acquisitions

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