Blue Coat acquires anti-malware firm Norman Shark

Blue Coat Systems today announced it has acquired anti-malware firm Norman Shark for an undisclosed price, in order to integrate its technologies, such as sandboxing, into other security products available through Blue Coat.

Blue Coat, itself acquired for $1.3 billion by investment firm Thoma Bravo  in February 2012, has made a string of other buyouts that include Netronome, Crossbeam Systems, and Solera Networks. Blue Coat's President and COO David Murphy says Blue Coat already had an OEM relationship with Norman Shark, and buying the outfit means that more will be done to integrate its technologies into future products.

"This is about technology sharing and building out our capabilities," he says.

+ Also on NetworkWorld: Five Styles of Advanced Threat Defense, according to Gartner | Related research: Decision to buy cyber-insurance usually leaves CISOs, CIO out of the loop +

Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, gave the deal a thumb's up, calling the acquisition of Norman Shark "a great addition to the company's advanced malware prevention, detection, and analytics capabilities."

Oslo-based Norman Shark is said to have several hundred enterprise customers around the world. Earlier this year Norman Shark issued an analysis report related to cyber-espionage that angered India-based security firm Appin because Appin's name was mentioned in it, leading Appin to sue Norman Shark. Murphy declined to discuss the status of that lawsuit.

Murphy says Norman Shark not only brings substantial malware analysis to Blue Coat but also has products intended for threat protection in industrial networks. Murphy says the intention is to eventually drop the Norman Shark brand name in favor of Blue Coat.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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