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Blue Coat Systems is using its position as a network security gateway provider to better secure endpoints and the cloud services they access.

Focusing on endpoint protection, Blue Coat this week announced the formation of an Alliance Ecosystem of Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) partners made up of Blue Coat and providers of EDR security software that include Bit9 + Carbon Black, Countertack, Digital Guardian, Guidance Software, Promisec and TripWire.

EDR is an emerging class of endpoint security technologies that goes beyond traditional antivirus software to make use of heuristics and advanced analytics to identify anomalies that are indicative of malware infecting specific endpoints.

Under the terms of the alliance, EDR technology partners will bi-directionally share that malware patterns and trend data with each other through Blue Coat, said Peter Doggart, vice president of business development for Blue Coat.

“The whole idea is detect, query and then remediate,” said Doggart. “We’re creating a whole new level of symbiotic integration.”

On the cloud front, Blue Coat this week also announced it is acquiring Perspecsys, a provider of cloud access brokering software that IT organizations use to manage access to software-as-a-service applications. That technology is a natural extension of the Blue Coat network gateway, said Doggart.

Collectively, Blue Coat is expanding the size and scope of the security solutions that its partners can offer, Doggart said. In general, IT security solutions have been split into offerings that focus on endpoints, the network and the cloud. Through these alliances and acquisitions, Blue Coat is making it simpler to craft end-to-end security solutions, he added.

Time will tell how much the need to craft such end-to-end solutions will drive further consolidation across the security space. However, given the amount of focus placed on IT security these days, customer patience with the amount of time it takes to create and manage IT security solutions is waning.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.