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ForeScout Files for $100M IPO to Advance Network Access Control Security

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After 17 years in business, security vendor ForeScout has decided that it is going to test the public capital markets. On Oct. 2, the company filed its S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The IPO could bring as much as $100 million.

Forescout was founded in 2000, but it was the launch of the company's CounterACT platform in 2006 that has been the foundation of the company's success over the past decade.

"Over the past ten years, ForeScout has developed proprietary agentless technology that discovers and classifies IP-based devices in real time as they connect to the network and continuously monitors and assesses their security posture," the S-1 filing states. "Our solution supports heterogeneous wired and wireless networks, as well as both virtual and cloud infrastructures, while scaling to meet the needs of globally distributed organizations. "

ForeScout is typically grouped into a category of security software known as Network Access Control (NAC). With a traditional NAC solution, common features include pre-admission control, that only allows access to a network if an endpoint or device meets the required criteria.

Pre-admission control is often delivered in NAC technologies with an 801.1x agent, which can sometime be a challenge to install. ForeScout notes in its S-1 filing that, traditional NAC solutions cannot detect certain devices, including BYOD and IoT devices, that do not have a corporate-installed agent or run operating systems that cannot integrate with agents. The promise of ForeScout's system is an agent-less approach that provides improve control and visibility.

"Our growth reflects a number of macro changes impacting the security market, particularly through Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, initiatives and the emergence of the Internet of Things, or IoT, both of which have contributed to a significant increase in the number of unmanaged devices accessing IT networks and resulted in growing demand for our products," ForeScout stated.

Demand for ForeScout's products has also fueled the company's revenue growth as well. In 2014 the company generated $71.1 million and more than doubled in 2015 to report $126.0 million. In 2016, ForeScout reported $166.8 million in revenue. Across the first months of 2017, ForeScout stated it has already generated $90.6 million revenue.

The overall market that ForeScout plays in is massive. The company stated it estimates that the total addressable market for its solution is approximately $8.6 billion. That said, ForeScout operates in a market where there are many competitors and new startup emerge on a regular basis.

The market in which we compete is highly fragmented, intensely competitive, and evolving in response to changes in the threat landscape and corporate network security infrastructures. We expect competition to intensify in the future as existing competitors bundle new and more competitive offerings with their existing products and services, and as new market entrants introduce new products into the security market.

"Our competitors and potential competitors include large networking vendors such as Cisco Systems, Inc., or Cisco, and HP Enterprise Company that may emulate or integrate features similar to ours into their own products," the S-1 filing stated.

Additionally ForeScout noted that competition also comes from independent network security vendors that offer products that claim to perform similar functions and small and large companies that offer point solutions that compete with some of the features present in ForeScout's solution.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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