Looking to give its systems a security boost, Cisco said it's acquiring network behavior analytics and security intelligence company Lancope Inc. for $452.5 million. The deal is part of Cisco’s “Security Everywhere” strategy to develop a more tightly integrated network security infrastructure that extends through every device on a network.
“As enterprises digitize, security challenges rapidly evolve. Real time visibility and understanding of the behavior of every machine or device on the network becomes critical in adapting the ability of enterprises to identify and respond to the next wave of cyber threats,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development, in a statement. “Our combined solutions can help turn a customer’s entire network into a security sensor.”
More Connections, More Problems
Cisco said that the acquisition of the privately held, Alpharetta, Georgia-based company will augment its ability to provide advanced threat protection before, during and after an attack by offering additional network behavior analytics. Lancope’s StealthWatch system identifies suspicious traffic patterns inside the network to detect a wide range of attacks, allowing enterprises to respond to security threats more quickly.
Cisco cited the rapid growth in the number of connected devices as a reason for the acquisition. “The more things become connected, the more opportunities exist for malicious actors as well,” Scott Harrell, vice president of product management for Cisco's Security Business Group, said in a blog post. “We are now dealing with a new world where more and more devices are creating a broader and more diverse attack surface that can be exploited.”
As more devices are connected to the Internet, cybercriminals have access to a wider variety of attack vectors when targeting a network. According to Salvagno, the deal compliments Cisco’s other recent acquisitions of security companies such as OpenDNS, Portcullis, and Neohapsis and will be added to its portfolio of security solutions.
Embedded Security Everywhere
The company is making its push for better network security at an opportune time. According to its 2015 Annual Security Report, there has been a 66 percent compound annual growth rate in detected security incidents since 2009, with the malware behind the attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and elusive.
Cisco’s strategy is to embed security technology into intelligent network infrastructure and across the extended network from the service provider to the enterprise network infrastructure, data center, IoT, cloud and endpoint, according to Harrell. “This is essential to protect today’s wide array of attack vectors while positioning security to act as a growth engine to enable companies to seize new business opportunities,” he said.
That involves essentially turning entire networks into security sensors. Lanscope’s network traffic monitoring technology will help Cisco’s clients keep an eye on their networks on a near-constant basis, the company said. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, at which time the Lanscope team will join the Cisco Security Business Group.