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Cisco Boosts Cloud Security Capabilities With CloudLock Buy

Cisco will acquire privately held CloudLock Inc. for $293 million in a transaction designed to bolster the network giant’s capabilities in the cloud security space.

Under terms of the deal announced Tuesday, CloudLock’s operations will be folded into Cisco’s Networking and Security Business group once the deal is approved sometime in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, Cisco said in a statement.

The Waltham, Ma-based CloudLock is a provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) technology designed to help enterprises protect applications and data in the cloud. Its platform acts as an access and control point for enterprise users attempting to access cloud applications such as Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Dropbox, Box and other apps.

CloudLock’s technology allows security administrators to set and enforce policies for enterprise access to data in such applications. It also allows them to discover and monitor any unsanctioned third party cloud applications that employees might be using without the knowledge or blessing of the IT organization.

Gartner defines CASBs as technology that gives security administrators an essential control point for cloud security, visibility and compliance. The analyst firm predicts that by 2020, about 85% of large enterprises will use CASBs to broker access to cloud services—a substantial increase from the less than five percent of large organizations that were using the technology as the end of last year.

Much of the demand for the technology is being driven by the growing use of Software-as-a-Service (Saas) applications, such as Salesforce, Google Apps and Office 365. Many of these applications offer administrators little,of the visibility and control available with on-premise applications and services. Cloud access security brokers address that shortcoming, Gartner said in a report released earlier this year.

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