Cisco to acquire Duo Security to beef up multi-cloud efforts

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Here’s a good example of how security underlines – or should underline – pretty much everything in the cloud: Cisco has announced it is to acquire Michigan-based Duo Security for upwards of $2.3 billion (£1.8bn).

The deal, which expects to close during the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2019, aims to help give the networking giant’s customers straightforward and secure access to any application on any networked device through Duo’s platform.

Duo Security offers a trusted access platform with two-factor, multi-factor and zero trust authentication. The platform verifies the identity of users by checking the health of their device before granting access to company applications.

In a letter to employees, Duo CEO Dug Song cited the traditional reasons why the acquisition made sense – deploying the technology at scale, gaining Cisco’s long-standing enterprise security experience, as well as a nice payoff for shareholders. “This is an important next chapter for Duo and there is much more we can accomplish together to position Cisco for enduring success,” wrote Song. “I am incredibly proud of the company we have built and look forward to our future with our friends at Cisco.”

Song also noted the importance of Cisco’s recent security-based acquisitions – such as OpenDNS, Sourcefire and Cloudlock – and how they were integrated into the wider business. “They are a company evolving themselves under new leadership, new momentum, and a new focus on innovation in the cloud era,” Song added. “Cisco views our leadership in zero trust security as transformational to their business, bringing cloud-based user and device trustworthiness to an already impressive security product portfolio.”

From Cisco’s perspective, the continued prevalence of multi-cloud initiatives was key to the acquisition. “IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision,” said David Goeckeler, EVP and general manager of networking and security at Cisco. “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.”

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