Cisco set to complete $2.35bn Duo Security acquisition

By James Henderson

Cisco has announced it has agreed a deal to buy Duo Security for $2.35bn in cash and assumed equity awards. 

Duo Security is known for its unified access security and and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. Duo Security’s solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications – helping prevent cybersecurity breaches. 

In a statement, Cisco said the integration of its network, device and cloud security platforms with Duo Security’s zero-trust authentication and access products will enable Cisco customers to easily and securely connect users to any application on any networked device.

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"In today’s multicloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on- and off-premise,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business. 

"IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision. 

"Duo’s zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments.”

Cisco said the acquisition will extend tent-based networking into multicloud environments. Cisco currently provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo’s software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control.

In addition, it will simplify policy for cloud security, with Duo adding trusted identity awareness into Cisco’s Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products. 

Endpoint visibility coverage is also to be extended, according to Cisco which said the visibility of over 180 million managed devices will be augmented by Duo’s broad visibility of mobile and unmanaged devices.

In a letter to his staff, Duo’s CEO, Dug Song said: “This agreement begins an exciting new chapter for Duo. With this deal, we will realise significant value for our shareholders, while gaining the opportunity to leverage Cisco’s global scale & resources to democratize security faster without compromising our vision.

"Cisco is not only the world’s largest networking company, but also the world’s leading enterprise security business. They agree with us on the past state of security, and we’re going to fix it together. They’ve had a long and successful history of acquiring companies to support and accelerate their strategic initiatives.”

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.

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