Cisco to buy cybersecurity firm OpenDNS in $635m deal

The deal will give Cisco better visibility into the security and threat landscape.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Cisco has announced its intention to purchase threat protection security firm OpenDNS in a deal worth $635 million.

Announced on Tuesday, the tech giant said the move will accelerate the development of the Cisco Cloud Delivered Security Portfolio, and OpenDNS will prove a boost to advanced threat protection services for Cisco clients.

In addition, the OpenDNS cloud delivered platform will give Cisco better visibility and more insight into the threat landscape.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will play $635 million in cash and equity awards, as well as "retention-based incentives" for OpenDNS.

Cisco's latest portfolio addition will be made in light of the Internet of Everything (IoE), linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) concept. With over 50 billion devices expected to become connected by 2020, the rush to create smart devices and appliances also gives threat actors a far wider reach and more opportunities to breach networks and break corporate security.

This is where cloud-based security solutions come in -- bolt-on Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) models which can provide better security for the enterprise without requiring vast in-house teams or expertise.

"In a world in which devices and people can connect from anywhere at anytime, enterprise IT teams have increasingly limited visibility into potential threats from these unmonitored and potentially unsecure entry points into the network, creating tremendous security risk," Cisco says.

"Combining OpenDNS' broad visibility, unique predictive threat intelligence and cloud platform with Cisco's robust security and threat capabilities will increase awareness across the extended network, both on- and off-premise, reduce the time to detect and respond to threats, and mitigate risk of a security breach."

The OpenDNS team, based in San Francisco, will join the Cisco Security Business Group organization led by David Goeckeler.

Hilton Romanski, Cisco chief technology and strategy officer said in prepared remarks:

"As more people, processes, data and things become connected, opportunities for security breaches and malicious threats grow exponentially when away from secure enterprise networks. OpenDNS has a strong team with deep security expertise and key technology that complements Cisco's security vision. Together, we will help customers protect their extended network wherever the user is and regardless of the device."

The deal is expected to close in the first financial quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approval.

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