Our evolution from URL filtering to comprehensive real-time information security.


Early History

1994–1998: Websense was founded in 1994 as NetPartners, a reseller of firewalls and other network security products. Our first software product, Websense® Internet Screening System, was introduced in 1996 to help customers manage employee use of the web.


Employee Internet Management (EIM)/URL Filtering (1999–2003)

1999: We changed our name to Websense to reflect a focus on developing and selling software solutions to manage web use. Our flagship software application was renamed Websense Enterprise™. The early master URL database included 67 categories and 1.6 million sites.

2000: Websense raised $65.7 million with a successful IPO on March 28, 2000. Websense Enterprise Version 4, the first scalable enterprise-class employee Internet management software, was introduced. It established Websense as the leader in employee Internet management (EIM) products. Productivity Premium Group, the first of three specialized Internet category groups, was introduced.

2001: International expansion accelerated leading to more than 1,000 reseller partners in 80 countries. The Websense database grew to more than 3 million websites in 79 categories and more than 40 languages. Websense released its second premium Internet category group, the Bandwidth Premium Group, with categories that enabled management of bandwidth-intensive sites such as Internet radio, Internet TV and streaming media.

2002: The foundation for Websense web security leadership was established with the release of the Security Premium Group. It was the industry's first filtering solution to prevent access to websites that were compromised by spyware and other malicious code.

2003: Websense Web Security Suite™ was introduced, providing multi-layered protection against web-based attacks at the desktop and Internet gateway. Websense Explorer, the industry's first forensics and analytical tool, enhanced web-based reporting.


Early Web Security (2004–2005)

2004: Websense® Security Labs™ was created, formalizing web security research and establishing an early detection system for web-based threats. Websense was the first to market with protection from crimeware and key loggers. Real-time updates were added to the Web Security Suite, which narrowed the window of exposure between threat discovery and protection.

2005: Websense was named to Forbes list of 200 Best Small Companies and the Deloitte and Touche Fast 500 list of the fastest growing technology companies. Websense Enterprise v6 was released with remote filtering and enhanced administrative capabilities.

Transition to Data-Centric Security Strategy (2006)

2006: Websense announced a multi-year strategy to protect companies and their data from web-based and blended (email and web) threats. Websense acquired PortAuthority®, a technology leader in data loss prevention (DLP) because we saw early signs that attacks were shifting from network infrastructure to valuable corporate data theft. The Websense ThreatSeeker® Network (now ThreatSeeker Intelligence Cloud) was branded to identify it as a key Websense technology, used to identify and classify threats. Websense was the first to market with botnet protection. Gene Hodges joined Websense as CEO.


Data-Centric Security/Web 2.0 Security (2007–2008)

2007: Websense acquired SurfControl® to increase web security market share and expand product portfolio to include email security (primarily spam filtering) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) capabilities. Websense was also the first in the industry to add natural language processing to DLP and first to deliver bi-directional security intelligence in web/email/data solutions. The company outlined its strategy to integrate DLP with web security and email security offerings in single integrated architecture. R&D organizations were established in Israel and Beijing, China.

2008: Websense acquired Defensio™, a technology platform focused on solving the problem of spam on the social web, and added new features to protect social web properties. Websense was the first to market with real-time malware detection and dynamic web content categorization with Websense Web Security Gateway, which allowed customers to safely enable social media access for the first time.


Content Security Protection From Advanced Threats and Data Theft (2009–Present)

2009: The Websense V10000™ appliance, pre-configured with Web Security Gateway, was launched to positive reviews from customers and partners. John McCormack was named President.

2010: Websense launched the Websense TRITON® solution and became the first security company to integrate the real-time web content analysis and malware protection of the Web Security Gateway, Websense Data Security Suite and Websense Email Security to protect organizations and their information from advanced threats and data loss. Websense Web Security Gateway Anywhere with Websense TruHybrid™ cloud/on-premise functionality was also released, which enabled unified security policy enforcement regardless of user location. The Websense V5000™ appliance was released for mid-market customers.

Websense also branded Websense ACE (Advanced Classification Engine) — the real-time analytics for the TRITON solution. ACE classifies complex online threats and content into almost 100 categories. It's fueled by the ThreatSeeker Network (now ThreatSeeker Intelligence Cloud) and the expert Websense Security Labs team.

The company also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of our IPO and NASDAQ listing.

2011: Websense expanded TRITON solutions to include Websense Email Security Gateway (email and DLP) and TRITON Security Gateway (web, email and DLP). Facebook implemented TRITON security to protect its members from malicious links posted on users' pages. ACEInsight.com, a free service, was released to provide instant website safety data to users.

2012: Websense announced Websense TRITON Mobile Security, the industry's only mobile security solution that combines web security, data security and malicious app and mobile malware protection with mobile device management features. Websense launched the Websense X10G™ blade server, which is the only secure web gateway with enough power to enable large enterprises to run the real-time contextual defenses needed for an effective containment defense against advanced attacks and data theft.

The company introduced 10 new advanced malware and data theft defenses, spear-phishing protection with cloud sandboxing, and a forensic reporting dashboard with in-depth security intelligence. Many of these new defenses are industry firsts such as 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 geo-location awareness.

Two Websense CyberSecurity Intelligence™ (CSI) services were launched, giving IT security teams access to an online sandbox, continuing education, current research and the expert Websense Security Labs guidance they need to help protect their organizations from cybercriminals and data loss.

2013: On May 20, 2013 Websense agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $906 million. With the closing of the transaction, Websense stock was delisted from NASDAQ and is no longer a publicly traded company.