20 Years of Defense Against Sophisticated Threats
Forcepoint was formed in 2015 through the merger of Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense. The combination of the two organizations brought together decades of front-line experience across many domains of cybersecurity, from Fortune 100 enterprise to mid-sized businesses in every industry, to the world’s most highly secure defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Raytheon's roots in cybersecurity reach back to the 1980s, when it began augmenting its other technical capabilities by securing the most complex systems in the government and defense sectors. Websense was founded in 1994 as NetPartners, a commercial reseller of firewalls and other network security products. Two years later, it introduced its first software product to help customers manage employee use of the Web, and in 1999, the company adopted the name Websense.
In March 2000, Websense raised $65.7 million with a successful IPO, and by 2001 the company had expanded to more than 1,000 reseller partners in 80 countries. During the 2000s, the company continued to expand its product offerings to meet Web security needs across many categories. The creation of Websense Security Labs in 2004 formalized Web security research and established an early detection system for Web-based threats.
During the 2000s, Websense acquired PortAuthority, a leader in data loss prevention (DLP); SurfControl, a maker of email security products; and Defensio, a platform focused on combating spam on the social Web. It also established R&D organizations in Israel and Beijing.
Beginning in the mid-2000s, Raytheon began diversifying and deepening its own cybersecurity portfolio both within and outside the defense sector, integrating more than a dozen acquisitions into its Raytheon Cyber Products portfolio.
In 2010, Websense launched the Websense TRITON solution and became the first security company to integrate real-time Web content analysis with malware protection to protect organizations from advanced threats and data loss. The company’s products continued to achieve many industry firsts, including detection of criminal-encrypted uploads, advanced malware payloads and command-and-control communications; optical character recognition (OCR) of text within images for data-in-motion; drip DLP detection; password file theft detection; and geolocation awareness.
In May 2013, Websense agreed to be acquired and taken private by Vista Equity Partners for $906 million. The following year, Websense completed the relocation of corporate headquarters from its previous base in San Diego to new premises in Austin.
In April 2015, Raytheon and Websense announced plans to combine the Raytheon Cyber Products unit of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business with Websense in a deal valued at about $1.9 billion. When the deal was completed, Raytheon owned about 80 percent of the new company and Vista Equity Partners owned about 20 percent.
The combined company immediately began integrating Raytheon Cyber Products and Websense product lines to offer deep, holistic cybersecurity solutions to both governmental and commercial organizations.
In January 2016, the company launched the Forcepoint brand to underscore its unique position and new identity in the cybersecurity industry. At the same time, it completed the purchase of the Stonesoft and Sidewinder firewall groups. Previously part of Intel Security’s McAfee business, Stonesoft Next-Generation Firewalls had pioneered defense against the Advanced Evasion Techniques used by sophisticated online attackers, while Sidewinder Proxy Firewalls were among the industry’s first application-layer firewalls.