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IT security vendor Blue Coat has acquired Perspecsys, a Canadian developer of cloud access security broker (CASB) technology, and Microsoft is reported to be closing in on another CASB vendor, Adallom. Ovum sees this as the beginning of a landgrab in this emerging sector.

Rapid adoption of enterprise applications is driving demand for CASB technology

The CASB technology market is a relatively young one, comprising a group of companies – many of them start-ups – whose technology sits between corporate networks and the Internet to monitor employees' access to public cloud applications such as, Box, and Dropbox. The technology allows enterprises to enforce policies for these applications, enabling them to block some and allow others, and to impose obfuscation techniques such as encryption and tokenization on the data going to and coming from the cloud.

Rapid enterprise adoption of these applications is driving demand for such technology, and even before the leading analyst firms have produced their rankings of CASB vendors, a round of acquisitions by larger vendors has begun.

One CASB developer, Armor5, was snapped up in May this year by Digital Guardian, which is expanding its offering from data loss prevention to broader endpoint protection. Now Perspecsys, one of the most visible players in CASB, is becoming part of Blue Coat. Blue Coat will integrate several of the technologies in its own arsenal into the platform, presumably for a differentiated take on CASB. And Microsoft is reportedly planning to acquire Adallom for around $320m, although this deal has yet to be confirmed.

The landgrab has begun, and Ovum expects to see more M&A activity in the coming months.


Further reading

On the Radar: Adallom, IT0022-000452 (July 2015)

On the Radar: Elastica, IT0022-000443 (July 2015)

On the Radar: Perspecsys,IT0022-000445 (July 2015)

On the Radar: Skyhigh Networks,IT0022-000370 (June 2015)

On the Radar: CipherCloud, IT0022-000305 (February 2015)

On the Radar: Bitglass, IT0022-000306 (February 2015)


Rik Turner, Senior Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions

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