Blue Coat Systems is buying SSL VPN vendor Permeo to create a combined VPN/proxy appliance.

The US$60.8 million stock-and-cash deal will bring Blue Coat three key technologies: an SSL VPN gateway; software to check configuration of remote computers accessing networks; and a SOCKS proxy that can replace Microsoft ISA Proxy.

The main reason for the deal was the desire to incorporate SSL VPN technology into Blue Coat's Proxy SG appliance that filters web traffic in and out of businesses, says Blue Coat president and CEO Brian NeSmith. It will take the combined new business nine months to integrate Proxy SG with Permeo's Base5 VPN software, he says.

Permeo also brings software that checks remote computers attempting to connect with corporate networks to make sure they meet corporate configuration policies. The software looks for key loggers, anti-virus software, application patches, operating system versions and browser configurations, among other factors. It can also push policies to browsers, such as disabling printing of Web pages and not allowing screen copying, as a way to prevent data leakage.

NeSmith says Permeo's SOCKS proxy will enable Blue Coat to offer an alternative to Microsoft ISA customers who use ISA Proxy. Previously, Blue Coat had nothing to replace the Microsoft technology, and this lack prevented some sales of Proxy SG, he says.

Blue Coat says it plans to continue selling Permeo's Base5 software as a separate item until it can be integrated into Blue Coat's Proxy SG.