Chief of Forcepoint's governments unit seeks growth in critical infrastructure

March 2, 2018

By Marjorie Censer

The head of Forcepoint's global governments unit is seeking to grow the company's longstanding work in cross-domain and insider threat work, while also building its more traditional cybersecurity business in critical networks and other areas.

In an interview with Inside Defense this week, Sean Berg said he also sees opportunity to expand Forcepoint's work with critical infrastructure.

Forcepoint was created in 2015 by combining Raytheon's cyber products business with Websense. In late October of last year, the company named Berg to oversee the global governments division.

Berg, who has worked as an executive at Polycom and Dell, had initially joined Forcepoint earlier in 2017 as the head of sales for the government unit.

Last year, Forcepoint grew its total sales to $608 million, up 4 percent from 2016. However, the unit recorded $33 million in profit, down from $90 million in 2016, as a result of higher selling and marketing costs.

Berg told Inside Defense the global governments business -- which sells to U.S. agencies as well as international governments -- makes up about one-third of Forcepoint's sales. The unit has about 400 employees, from product engineers to sales and marketing staff.

Before the combination with Websense, the Raytheon cyber products business, which is now included in the global governments group, had built up a legacy in insider threat and cross-domain cyber work, Berg said.

The products associated with that portion of the business are not commercial and are restricted by International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

With the combination, Forcepoint's global governments unit also offers the cybersecurity products developed and sold by the commercial side of the business.

Berg said critical infrastructure is an adjacent area where Forcepoint hopes to expand. Additionally, the business is seeking to grow its civilian agency work; defense and intelligence agencies make up about two-thirds of Forcepoint's sales to civilian's one-third.

Additionally, Forcepoint counts among its international customers the governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. NATO too is a customer, according to Berg.

"We have a lot of growth programs internationally," he told Inside Defense.

He said the global governments business works closely with the commercial side of Forcepoint to access its research. However, Berg's unit also has its own research and development related to its insider threat and cross-domain work.