Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

8/2/2018
03:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Multifactor Acquisition: Cisco Plans to Buy Duo for $2.35B

Cisco intends to use Duo's authentication technology to ramp up security across hybrid and multicloud environments.

Networking giant Cisco Systems has agreed to buy authentication startup Duo Security for $2.35 billion in cash and assumed equity, the companies confirmed today.

Duo, founded in 2010 by Dug Song and Jonathan Oberheide, specializes in cloud-based multifactor authentication. Customers of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company range from SMBs to major organizations, using its tech to verify users' identities by establishing trust in their identities, evaluating device trustworthiness, and facilitating secure application access.

Now Cisco wants to offer its customers the same as it plans for a future in the cloud.

"Cisco and Duo are aligned in the approach of designing infrastructure for the extended enterprise," said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business, in a press briefing on the news. "Users, devices, and applications are at the center of modern security architecture."

The acquisition was driven by three core reasons, he explained. For starters, it will let Cisco extend intent-based networking into multicloud environments. The company currently provides on-premises network access control through its Identity Services Engine (ISE); it plans to offer cloud-based access control by integrating Duo's SaaS model into its ISE product.

Cisco's focus is networking and enterprise security, Goeckeler said. Its intent is to securely connect clients on various networks to any application at a time when more apps are located outside the business and customers are adopting multi- and hybrid-cloud environments.

"The world has landed on multicloud," Duo's Song said at the briefing. "We see a very clear role for us sitting at the intersection of that new network that's being built."

Goeckler's second point was how the Duo acquisition will help simplify policy for cloud security by integrating trusted identity awareness into Cisco's Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and other cloud-based products in its lineup. His third point: Cisco will leverage Duo's device visibility to expand endpoint management coverage.

Cisco: Late to 2FA?
Multifactor authentication is certainly a powerful tool for Cisco to have, but it's a little late for the company to have it, says Merritt Maxim, principal analyst serving security and risk professionals at Forrester.

"On one hand ... authentication continues to be one of the common vulnerabilities that gets exploited for data breaches," he explains. Compromised passwords continue to be a problem, and two-factor authentication is a good way to mitigate the risk.

Cisco has historically invested in network or cloud-focused companies; while Duo is "a little somewhat outside the core area," Maxim says, it does complement Cisco's portfolio. Duo is on a high-trajectory growth rate, he continues, and has raised a lot of capital.

However, the high price tag indicates Cisco may be "a little late to the game on this," Maxim adds, noting that most major tech companies have already invested in multifactor. If the company wanted two-factor authentication, it could have had it "ages ago." As a result, he anticipates the deal is about achieving customers and growth in addition to 2FA tech. Cisco wants to protect the networks and users connecting to the cloud; Duo is part of that.

Maxim doesn't anticipate any major changes to Duo's multifactor technology as a result of the acquisition. It's also intriguing, he points out, that Duo offers phishing simulation and awareness tools. Cisco could also potentially leverage these in its content strategy.

As for Cisco's plans, "we see Duo's opportunity with Cisco going beyond security into its intent-based networking strategy," Goeckeler said today. While more information on Duo's integration will be announced after the close of the deal, he noted plans to weave Duo's tech into Cisco products, as well as to continue to sell Duo's offerings as a standalone product.

The acquisition is subject to closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's 2019 fiscal year. Following the close, Duo's operations and 700-some employees will be integrated into Cisco's networking and security division under Goeckeler's leadership. Song will continue to lead Duo following the transaction, Cisco reports.

Related Content:

 

 

 

Black Hat USA returns to Las Vegas with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
Cognitive Bias Can Hamper Security Decisions
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12855
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-16
In words.protocols.jabber.xmlstream in Twisted through 19.2.1, XMPP support did not verify certificates when used with TLS, allowing an attacker to MITM connections.
CVE-2013-7472
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
The "Count per Day" plugin before 3.2.6 for WordPress allows XSS via the wp-admin/?page=cpd_metaboxes daytoshow parameter.
CVE-2019-12839
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In OrangeHRM 4.3.1 and before, there is an input validation error within admin/listMailConfiguration (txtSendmailPath parameter) that allows authenticated attackers to achieve arbitrary command execution.
CVE-2019-12840
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In Webmin through 1.910, any user authorized to the "Package Updates" module can execute arbitrary commands with root privileges via the data parameter to update.cgi.
CVE-2019-12835
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
formats/xml.cpp in Leanify 0.4.3 allows for a controlled out-of-bounds write in xml_memory_writer::write via characters that require escaping.