Cisco acquires security software firm Sourcefire

Cisco has agreed to purchase security software maker Sourcefire for $2.7 billion.


Cisco has announced the purchase of security firm Sourcefire, paying a premium for the company in order to bolster its weakening position in network security.

The Columbia, MD-based company develops cybersecurity solutions for next-generation applications -- spurred on due to the rising adoption of mobile technology, the evolving nature of cybercrime and corporate demand for systems which prevent data loss and theft.

By purchasing Sourcefire, Cisco may be able to shore up its position in the network security industry after losing marketshare in the last few years to more competitive rivals including Palo Alto Networks and Check Point -- which are better equipped to develop more complex firewalls suitable for use in web applications, cloud computing and social media.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay $76 per share in cash for the firm -- a premium of over 20 percent based on Monday's close -- paying approximately $2.7 billion. Now approved by both Cisco and Sourcefire's board of directors, the acquisition is expected to close during the second half of 2013.

"The notion of the 'perimeter' no longer exists and today's sophisticated threats are able to circumvent traditional, disparate security products. Organizations require continuous and pervasive advanced threat protection that addresses each phase of the attack continuum," said Christopher Young, senior vice president, Cisco Security Group. "With the acquisition of Sourcefire, we believe our customers will benefit."

Sourcefire was founded in 2001 and has over 650 employees worldwide, reporting revenue of $223.1 million in the previous fiscal year.