Cisco drops a cool $2.3 billion on SaaSy outfit Duo Security

Switchzilla slurps trusted access into cloud to make it rain

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Cisco has announced plans to buy privately held authentication firm Duo Security for $2.35bn (£1.80bn).

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The Michigan firm markets unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. The technology is designed to verify the identity of users and the cyber hygiene of their devices before granting them access to applications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay $2.35bn in cash and assumed equity awards for Duo Security’s outstanding stocks and shares.

Switchzilla plans to integrate Cisco's network, device and cloud security platforms with Duo Security's zero-trust authentication and access products to bolster application and network security. This integration will "enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments," according to David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business.

Cisco already provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo's software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control.

In addition, Duo's tech will add trusted identity awareness into Cisco's Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products.

This is about security for multi-cloud environments that goes beyond your brother's BYOD. It's about securing access for "all users, with any device, connecting to any application, on any network" - it's trying to be the Martini Rosso of network security tech.1

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Duo Security, which will continue to be led by Dug Song, will join Cisco's networking and security business led by EVP and GM Goeckeler.

Cisco is, of course, no stranger to security acquisitions. Previous borg buys have included OpenDNS (June 2015) and Sourcefire (July 2013), among several others. ®

Vermouth note

1 Martini Rosso was promoted in aspirational 1980s TV ads as the drink you could have any time, any place, anywhere.


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