Cisco has been on a security tear of late, launching its "Security Everywhere" strategy in the spring and snapping up security companies OpenDNS and Portcullis. On Tuesday, it continued to build out its security portfolio, announcing its plan to acquire Lancope for $452.5 million.
Lancope, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Ga., provides network behavior analytics and threat intelligence through its StealthWatch system to catch suspicious network traffic patterns.
Cisco said the addition of Lancope provides its portfolio with additional insight into network behavior to extend security further into the network. In a blog post, Rob Salvagno, VP of Cisco corporate development, noted that Lancope has been a Cisco partner for many years. The acquisition will advance its strategy of providing threat protection before, during and after an attack, he said.
“Cisco is committed to helping organizations defend their networks and devices. Together with Lancope, our combined solutions can help turn a customer’s entire network into a security sensor," he said in a prepared statement.
Mike Fratto, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, said the acquisition is a good move and long time in coming.
"Cisco and Lancope have been partners for a long time and StealthWatch adds significant capabilities to Cisco’s security offerings not available in the rest of its portfolio," he told me in an email. "StealthWatch’s anomaly detection combined with Cisco’s FirePOWER detection and analysis offers a powerful security solution to detect and mitigate threats."
Cisco started bulking up its security business with its $2.7 billion acquisition of intrusion protection specialist Sourcefire in 2013. Since then, it's made a string of other security deals, including malware analysis firm ThreatGRID, security consultancy Neohapsis, and advanced threat protection supplier OpenDNS. Last month, Cisco announced plans to acquire UK security services firm Portcullis.
At Cisco Live in June, the company unveiled its Security Everywhere strategy, talking up its ability to provide threat protection throughout the enterprise, from the data center to endpoints.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins emphasized Cisco's security focus at the Cisco Global Editors conference earlier this month. Security is the No. 1 priority for customers, he said, adding that the plethora of security vendors is "no longer an option" because it makes it impossible for customers to correlate threat information in a timely manner.
"You have to take advantage of the network…and let the network take advantage of machine learning, deep traffic analysis, and build intelligence from the network up," he said.
Cisco said the acquisition of Lancope, which was founded 15 years ago, is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. Lancope's employees will join the Cisco Security Business Group.