On October 27, Cisco announced plans to acquire Lancope for a little over $450 million. This is the most recent purchase in their security buying spree and a very strong addition to an increasingly formidable security portfolio.
For those not familiar with the products from this Alpharetta, Georgia based company, Lancope’s StealthWatch technologies are the jewel of their offerings. Their network tools allow organizations to gain visibility and real-time situational awareness of all users, devices and traffic on the enterprise network. For organizations that means thwarting potential attacks and addressing risks at the earliest possible moment. This acquisition strengthens Cisco’s “network as a sensor” capability and is in line with their security everywhere strategy.
Cisco is now poised to leverage Lancope’s assets to provide enterprises with comprehensive network security that is adaptable and scalable as enterprises change or mature. With Lancope’s product suite organizations can to use behavior anomaly detection and analytics to help safeguard their network. Administrators can collect and analyze audit trails, provide faster root cause analysis and perform more thorough forensic investigations.
“As enterprises digitize, security challenges rapidly evolve. Real-time visibility and understanding 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 corporate statement.
For those of you with a background in Cisco security, you likely know that Cisco has had a good relationship with Lancope for some time. Lancope has been central to their strategy of using a network as a security threat sensor. Many enterprises have used the combination of Lancope’s StealthWatch System and Cisco routers and switches to detect sophisticated cyberattacks from anywhere on the network. It’s proven to be much more cost effective than deploying probes.
To date, Cisco’s concept of a network as a sensor has relied on leveraging Cisco infrastructure devices as a telemetry source in order to create a comprehensive and cost-effective solution. By combining Lancope’s StealthWatch with the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) and TrustSec, organizations can transform the network into an enforcer. Using software-defined segmentation, TrustSec can enforce access control policies based on user identities as well as security group tags. This combination ensures users are only permitted access to the appropriate network resources independent of network topology or mobility of the user or device.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. With Lancope, Cisco will further enhance their security everywhere strategy. Along with their SourceFire products and their core security capabilities, Cisco will be able to provide advanced threat protection across the full attack continuum — before, during and after an attack.
In comments about the significance of this acquisition, Rob Salvagno further stated, “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.”
Certainly this most recent acquisition will strengthen Cisco’s security portfolio through the addition of network behavior analytics. It will extend Cisco’s ability to aid organizations in defending against cyber attacks further across the network. More importantly, the acquisition is going to allow you and your team to operate more efficiently, prevent or locate any unauthorized access points and free up time to work on strategic projects.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Watkins (PMP, CCSI, CCNA, CCNP – Routing & Switching, Security, Voice) has nearly 20 years of IT instructional, training and product design experience. He holds over 30 industry certifications and is currently a senior product director with Global Knowledge. Michael has directly helped hundreds of thousands of professionals achieve success through his lectures, books,workshops and learning products. He has worked with companies such as KnowledgeNet, Thomson NETg, SkillSoft, and Toolwire to create and deliver a broad range of learning solutions. He has also consulted with organizations such as Kraft Foods, Johnson & Johnson, Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force to help them implement state-of-the-art learning technologies. In 2011 Michael was recognized as the Institute of IT Training’s Instructional Designer of the Year and the learning product he created was recognized as the Learning Technologies Solution of the Year.