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Quick Takes on Cisco’s Acquisition of SourceFire


It seems there is never a dull moment in the security mergers and acquisitions arena. Not long after McAfee announced it is acquiring StoneSoft, Cisco announced yesterday that it is acquiring SourceFire for $2.7B, a 30% premium over the stock’s price.

Here are some of my quick takes on this acquisition.

  1. Cisco is serious about security, no seriously! Cisco has talked the talk about taking their security seriously, but now the company is walking the walk. $2.7B is not petty change for anyone, even Cisco. With this price tag comes the responsibility of making it pay off.
  2. NGFW feature consolidation is accelerating even faster. This is not breaking news, but the pace at which functionality once found on point products– namely Firewalling, IPS, VPN, advanced malware detection, secure web gateway etc. – is consolidating faster than most have imagined. This includes adoption of application-aware and user-aware capabilities. It is not easy for a company the size of Cisco to develop this offerings at market pace, so Cisco chose to buy them, and will undoubtedly integrate and offer SourceFire’s functionality in IPS/NGIPS/NGFW into its ASA product line to compete with similar offerings already in the market.
  3. The battle for the enterprise heats up! SourceFire is a proven enterprise-grade technology. Enterprise is a market that Cisco Security has struggled in recent years due to aggressive moves by pure-play security and firewall vendors. This acquisition signals that Cisco is determined to offer security to the world’s most demanding organizations.

So what does this mean for security management? Mostly reiterating what our customers are experiencing today – the need to manage more complex policies as they span beyond ports and protocols to include not just applications and users, but also additional security layers. All of this of course, while ensuring good security processes to make sure your security infrastructure is both protecting your organization and enabling your critical business applications.

As always, we will be monitoring these developments to make sure we continue to offer solutions that help you manage security at the speed of business!

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