Forcepoint targets security-health KPI at empowering CSO-C-level relationship

Newly minted security vendor Forcepoint is leveraging its heritage in military and information-security technology into a business-focused metric designed to give CSOs a concrete measure of security performance for use in C-level conversations.

The idea of 'dwell time' – a measure of the time between a compromise and its remediation – lies at the heart of new security tools released today by Forcepoint, the new name for the combination of Raytheon|Websense and newly acquired Stonesoft.

Raytheon|Websense was itself created from last year's $US1.6b ($A2.29b) purchase of Websense by Raytheon Cyber Products, but with the acquisition of Stonesoft it was, Websense APAC vice president of sales Maurizio Garavello told CSO Australia, time for a new corporate identity.

That identity will position the companies' TRITON technologies as a unified, cloud-centric platform combining insider threat detection, Office 365 protection and network security – and aim to provide better context for executive decision-making.

It is in providing this context that the 'dwell time' metric – which Garavello said has already been adopted for internal use within Raytheon|Websense and a range of the companies' existing customers – is expected to provide important continuity for security managers around their reporting of information-security efforts over time.

“We are giving CISOs and CSOs the possibility of reporting this single KPI to their investors,” he explained, “and this will help them to justify and explain the security investment that they are making.”

“If they can have a tool to track [network] well time and tell the board that they reduce it by x number of days last quarter, this will give them a competely different approach to improve their relationship with executives.”

The company's pedigree combines Raytheon's military-spec credentials with Websense's information-security expertise and, most recently, the Stonesoft next-generation firewall and Sidewinder proxy firewall technologies it acquired from Intel Security this month. The tools of Stonesoft, which focuses on advanced evasion techniques (AETs), were acquired by McAfee in 2013, before that security giant was acquired by Intel and rebranded as Intel Security.

“For the first time ever,” Garavello said, “customers – whether in a government agency or commercial enterprise can have the benefit of a solution that has been merged between the two different worlds.”

Read more: Hyperconnected CES gadgets highlight growing Internet of Things security threat

Yet despite Raytheon's military-level credentials, it is Forcepoint's information-security credentials that may help the venture cement its capabilities in the commercial market: many previous efforts by defence contractors have been “miserable failings”, he said – an opinion reiterated by many security specialists – “and that's something we need to take control of.”

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