Cisco buys Duo Security for $2.35 billion, adds cloud-based authentication to security lineup

Cisco's purchase of Duo Security should bolster its efforts in the security market. Duo also provides authentication services for Cisco's growing applications portfolio.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Cisco said it will acquire Duo Security, which provides security and authentication cloud services, for $2.35 billion.

With the deal, Cisco gains a foothold into the unified access and multi-factor authentication market.

Cisco said Duo will enable it to add authentication services throughout its application portfolio and customers' networked devices. Cisco may be able to push more multi-factor authentication in the enterprise. Indeed, 63 percent of companies say employees shun multi-factor.

Security is among the key growth markets for Cisco. The networking giant already offers on-premises network access control, security policy management tools and analytics on end points. Duo will bring a software-as-a-service component to Cisco's security lineup. Cisco has been beefing up its cloud apps portfolio and Duo represents the largest purchase since the $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics.

Cisco's security acquisitions include CloudLock, OpenDNS, Neohapsis and Sourcefire. Cisco Live 2018: CEO Chuck Robbins pushes tighter datacentre security

On Cisco's third quarter earnings conference call in May, CEO Robbins noted that security is "foundational to everything we do." He added:

Our architecture delivers highly effective security from the network tothe endpoint to the cloud. This unique ability to bring together networking and security at scale gives us a huge competitive advantage.With the largest customer base in enterprise security, it is clear that our strategy is working. The strength we saw in the quarter is drivenby our integrated architecture, combined with best-of-breed products.

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Duo competes with Okta and RSA for authentication services. Here's a look at where Duo sits in an enterprise stack.


The deal is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal first quarter. Duo Security will continue to be run by CEO Dug Song, who will report to David Goeckeler, general manager of Cisco's networking and security business.

Here's where Cisco's security business sits in the quarterly revenue pie. Cisco reports fourth quarter earnings on Aug. 15.



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