Websense acquires Canadian blog-spam fighting security company

Published: February 4th, 2009

Websense (NASDAQ: WBSN) has solidified its worldwide presence and broadened its technology suite with the acquisition of Montreal-based Defensio, a blog-spam fighting security company.

The acquisition of Defensio is the first for Websense since it acquired SurfControl in October 2007. Fiaaz Walji, the Canadian country manager of Websense, a San Diego, Calif.-based Web, data and e-mail security solution vendor, said the acquisition of Defensio, its technology and two employees means a more enhanced security product portfolio for Websense. Financial details surrounding the acquisition were not disclosed.

Carl Mercier, the founder and CEO of Defensio and now a director of product development at Websense, said while Defensio currently protects about 10,000 blogs he has always kept his company’s employee count small.

“At the moment of acquisition there was only myself and Camilo Lopez (a software developer),” Mercier said. “Both of us are now employed by Websense.”

Mercier said the decision to sell his company wasn’t in response to the economic recession. In fact, he said the decision was made about two weeks before the economy collapsed. He and Lopez will still continue to work out of Defensio’s Montreal office.

Because the two-year old company has always dealt with its global customers directly, Defensio doesn’t have a channel partner community. Walji said Websense will use Defensio’s technology and integrate it into its own security solution product portfolio sold through the channel.

“Defensio adds another element to our robust security solution,” Walji said. “The work they do on the blog side adds to our Web 2.0 (security) strategy that lets users safely surf and do work on the Web. The acquisition from a channel standpoint makes the product the channel sells more ahead of the curve.”

Walji added future integration between both companies’ technologies and products will mean greater opportunities for Websense partners. The integration will also mean users will be better able to determine whether or not user-generated content is malicious, unwanted or confidential in nature.

There will be no changes made to the Websense partner program, Walji said, because this acquisition is really just another addition to what Websense and its partners already have to offer.