Blue Coat Systems
|Type||Privately held company|
|Headquarters||Sunnyvale, California, United States|
|Key people||Greg Clark (CEO)
(President and COO)
|Products||ProxySG, Advance Threat Protection (ATP) System, SSL Visibility Appliance, MACH5, K9 Web Protection, PacketShaper, CacheFlow|
|Revenue||US$496M (FY 2010)|
|Operating income||US$39.3M (FY 2010)|
|Net income||US$42.9M (FY 2010)|
|Total assets||US$696M (FY 2010)|
|Total equity||US$386M (FY 2010)|
|Employees||more than 1,400 (as of 2014)|
Blue Coat Systems Inc., formerly CacheFlow, based in Sunnyvale, California, United States is a provider of security and networking solutions. In February 2012, Blue Coat was acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion and began operating as a privately held company.
Blue Coat Systems was founded in 1996 as CacheFlow, with the original headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Blue Coat provides products to more than 15,000 customers worldwide. It identifies itself as a business assurance technology specialist. Blue Coat products are primarily used by enterprises, schools, hospitals, governments, and public agencies to block malware and malicious threats, control access to applications and content in the workplace, surveillance, censorship, and improve the performance of network applications. Usually used in conjunction with a firewall rather than in lieu of same.
On December 9, 2011, Blue Coat agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion. With the closing of the transaction, Blue Coat stock was delisted from NASDAQ and it was no longer a publicly traded company.
- ProxySG, multi-part enterprise software and hardware appliance, designed for companies with a large number of computers
- Web Security Service, cloud-based web security
- Mobile Device Security Service, cloud-based web security for mobile devices and applications
- Content Analysis System, security appliance with malware scanning and application whitelisting for the web gateway
- Malware Analysis Appliance, sandboxing appliance for detection and analysis of unknown files and downloads
- SSL Visibility Appliance, SSL decryption to identify hidden threats
- Security Analytics Platform, analytics to detect anomalies and threats already on the network
- X-Series, Scalable network security platform that supports virtualized third-party security applications
- WAN Optimization
- MACH5, accelerate internal and external applications for distributed employees
- PacketShaper, Content-aware visibility and control over network and applications
- Personal Security
- K9 Web Protection, free to use protection for use as a parental control and to filter Internet browsing
In 2000, Blue Coat acquired Entera for its streaming technologies. The deal was valued at $170 million.
Following its entry into the security market, Blue Coat acquired several companies to build additional functionality into its product portfolio. From 2003-2006, Blue Coat acquired three companies: Anti-virus appliance vendor Ositis Software, Inc. for $7.1 million, URL filtering vendor Cerberian for $17.5 million and Permeo Technologies for its SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN appliance.
As Blue Coat moved into the WAN optimization market, it shifted its acquisition focus to companies with caching and performance technologies. In 2006, Blue Coat acquired the NetCache business from NetApp. In 2008, Blue Coat acquired Packeteer, a bandwidth management company, for $268 million. In 2010, Blue Coat acquired S7 Software Solutions, a provider of software migration products and services.
Beginning in 2012, Blue Coat refocused its acquisitions on expanding its product portfolio into adjacent security markets. In December 2012, Blue Coat acquired Crossbeam Systems, maker of a scalable network security platform that can virtualize network security applications from third-party security software vendors (including McAfee, Sourcefire, Check Point, and Imperva). In May 2013, Blue Coat acquired SSL technology from Netronome. Also in May, Blue Coat acquired Solera Networks, a maker of security analytics products that help businesses detect and resolve threats already on the network.
Criticisms and controversy
In October 2011 it was reported that the U.S. government is looking into claims made by Telecomix that the Syrian government is using the company's products in order to restrict internet access. The hacktivist group released 54 GB of log data alleged to have been taken from seven Blue Coat web gateway appliances that depict search terms, including "Israel" and "proxy" were blocked in the country using the appliances.
In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a $2.8 million civil settlement with Computerlinks FZCO for violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to the transfer to Syria of Blue Coat products. The penalty was the maximum allowed. According to the BIS, Computerlinks FZCO provided Blue Coat with false end user information. Computerlinks FZCO knew that the items were destined for end users in Syria but stated that the end users for the items were the Iraq Ministry of Telecom or the Afghan Internet service provider Liwalnet.
Reporters Without Borders
On March 12, 2013, Reporters Without Borders named Blue Coat Systems as one of five "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" and “digital era mercenaries” for selling products that have been or are being used by governments to violate human rights and freedom of information. Blue Coat equipment has been sold to the governments of Bahrain, Burma (Myanmar), China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
Use by the governments of Sudan and Iran
- Schick, Steve (March 26, 2012). "Blue Coat Names Industry Veteran as Chief Operating Officer and President". Blue Coat Systems Inc. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest.
- Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest.
- "CrunchBase profile". Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- "Thoma Bravo Completes $1.3 Billion Acquisition of Blue Coat Systems". Thoma Bravo press release. February 15, 2012.
- Enzer, Georgina (June 10, 2013). "Blue Coat unveils new strategy". ITP.net.
- Murphy, David (February 15, 2013). "Enabling a Safe and Productive Internet". Blue Coat Company Blog.
- "Blue Coat Agrees to be Acquired by Private Equity Firm Thoma Bravo". December 9, 2011.
- "Blue Coat to Operate as a Privately Held Company and Aggressively Advance its Leadership in Web Security and WAN Optimization". February 15, 2012.
- "Company Overview of Blue Coat Systems Inc.", Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- "Business Assurance Technology Products", Blue Coat Systems. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- John Leyden (December 18, 2000). "Entera buyout complete". San Francisco Business Times.
- "Blue Coat buys Ositis". The Register. October 29, 2003.
- Dan Ilet (July 19, 2004). "Blue Coat buys Cerberian". SC Magazine.
- Paul Roberts (January 3, 2006). "Blue Coat to Acquire Security Company Permeo for $60M". eWeek.
- Chris Williams (June 23, 2006). "NetApp flogs NetCache to Blue Coat". The Register.
- Rebecca Munro (October 19, 2006). "Blue Coat looks for partners to help NetCache transition". ARNnet.
- Greene, Tim (April 21, 2008). "Blue Coat to buy Packeteer Traffic shaping, application visibility, customer list are the reasons". Network World. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
- Lawson, Stephen (April 21, 2008). "Blue Coat to Acquire Packeteer for $268 Million". PC World. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
- "Blue Coat Completes Acquisition of Packeteer", June 9, 2008
- "Blue Coat Systems acquires S7 Software Solutions". Reuters. February 12, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Bill Brenner (December 18, 2012). "Blue Coat acquires Crossbeam Systems". CSO.
- "Blue Coat Acquires Netronome SSL Technology to Extend Leadership in Enterprise Security". Press Release (Blue Coat Systems). May 9, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- "Blue Coat to Acquire Solera Networks", Press Release, Blue Coat Systems, May 22, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
- "Blue Coat Acquires Norman Shark", Press Release, Blue Coat Systems, December 18, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
- "Blue Coast acquires anti-malware firm Norman Shark", Ellen Messmer, Network World, December 18, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
- "US probes Syria's use of internet blocking equipment". BBC. October 24, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Syria using American software to censor Internet, experts say". The Washington Post. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Hopkins, Curt (May 29, 2013). "U.S. company allegedly caught aiding Syria and Iran in censorship efforts". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Blue Coat denies sale to Syrian censors". Information age. October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Bureau of Industry and Security Announces $2.8 Million Civil Settlement with Computerlinks FZCO for Charges Related to Unlawful Exporting of Technology to Syria". Bureau of Industry and Security Press Release. April 25, 2013.
- "Corporate Enemies: Blue Coat", The Enemies of the Internet, Special Edition: Surveillance, Reporters Without Borders, 12 March 2013
- "Planet Blue Coat: Mapping Global Censorship and Surveillance Tools", Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 15 January 2013
- John Markoff, "Rights Group Reports on Abuses of Surveillance and Censorship Technology", New York Times, 16 January 2013
- Ellen Nakashima, "Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan", Washington Post, 8 July 2013