Cisco will soon add another security startup, Observable Networks, to its list of recent acquisitions.

The two companies have announced Cisco’s intent to acquire Observable, which provides cloud-native network forensics security applications, delivered as a service.

No financial terms were disclosed. Cisco expects the acquisition to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, which begins in July 2017.

Observable’s technology uses machine learning to provide automated behavioral modeling of all devices on the network. It supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure’s public clouds.

After the purchase, Observable will become part of Cisco’s Stealthwatch security product. This enables Cisco to extend its behavior analytics and network visibility tool to the cloud.

The move will also strengthen the security features of Cisco’s new intent-based network. At a launch event last month for the networking software, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins highlighted the importance of network security. The company says it is the only vendor that can identify threats even in encrypted traffic without decrypting it and impacting data privacy.

Cisco also recently teamed up with McAfee on email security.

This Observable acquisition “reaffirms Cisco’s commitment to providing unparalleled security solutions for our customers and partners,” said Rob Salvagno, VP of corporate business development at Cisco in a blog post.

Security Spending Spree

The Observable team will join Cisco’s security business group led by David Ulevitch. He joined Cisco in 2015 when it bought his cloud security startup, OpenDNS, for USD 635 million.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Global Technology Conference last month, Ulevitch said Cisco wants to be a one-stop shop for security.

To this end, Cisco has purchased a number of security startups over the past few years in addition to OpenDNS. This includes Lancope for USD 453 million and CloudLock for USD 293 million, as well as Portcullis and Neohapsis.

And in May, Cisco moved into the Internet of Things (IoT) security market with its IoT Threat Defense cyber security architecture.

In the company’s annual networking and Internet trends forecast published in June, Cisco said the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks grew 172 percent in 2016 and will increase 2.5-fold to 3.1 million globally by 2021. – SDX Central 


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