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CacheFlow tries on security coat

The company, which once concentrated on specialty servers, changes its name to Blue Coat Systems and will focus on the security market.

CacheFlow, which once concentrated on specialty servers for speeding Net access, has changed its name to Blue Coat Systems and will focus on the security market.

The transition, which has been in the works for some time, coincides with the release of the company's first server for the market, the Blue Coat SG800, which protects against Web vulnerabilities. The SG800 inspects all Web traffic and then analyzes it for potential security problems.

Once analyzed, incoming traffic can be stopped, allowed to proceed, or tagged with a cookie to see what it does.

"This new class of Web security appliance from Blue Coat secures enterprise organizations against Web-based threats that, until now, have been able to take advantage of a major chink in the Web armor," Charles Dauber, vice president of marketing for Blue Coat, said in a statement.

Approximately 64 percent of corporations in a recent survey sponsored by the company admitted they have Web vulnerabilities.

The shift in strategy to some degree falls under the "speed is out; security is in" category. The company grew up in the go-go Internet days when business customers were buying caching servers, which store commonly accessed Web pages for more rapid access, to improve site performance, free up other servers on the network, and increase customer satisfaction.

Over time, server sales have declined and the old guard of the hardware world has moved into generic server appliances, eroding the opportunity for many of the younger companies that originally tried to popularize server appliances.

Security, and its effect on network performance, remains a burning issue for corporate computing rooms, opening up potential opportunities for appliance makers. Several start-ups, for instance, are working on techniques for reducing spam.

Along with the shift, the company's stock ticker has changed from "CFLO" to "BCSI."