Cisco Set To Acquire Sourcefire For $2.7bn

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Snort-based supplier sucked into Cisco’s world

Networking giant Cisco has agreed to buy firewall and intrusion prevention system provider Sourcefire for a whopping $2.7 billion (£1.7bn).

Cisco said the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. Both companies’ boards of directors have agreed to the deal.

Cisco Sign 2Security is becoming an increasingly important part of network providers’ portfolios. Cisco’s chief US rival Juniper has been ramping up its efforts, buying innovative, young companies like Mykonos and attempting to catch threats before attacks happen.

Cisco chooses Sourcefire

Christopher Young, senior vice president, Cisco Security Group, said the world’s number one networking vendor was doing something similar. Young told TechWeekEurope last year the company was planning something big in the zero-day malware space – the Sourcefire acquisition could be it.

“The notion of the ‘perimeter’ no longer exists and today’s sophisticated threats are able to circumvent traditional, disparate security products. Organisations require continuous and pervasive advanced threat protection that addresses each phase of the attack continuum.”

Sourcefire was founded in 2001 by creator of the Snort open source intrusion detection engine Martin Roesch. Its chief competitors in recent years have been Cisco itself, Palo Alto, FireEye and Barracuda Networks, amongst others.

“Cisco’s acquisition of Sourcefire will help accelerate the realisation of our vision for a new model of security across the extended network,” Roesch said.

In a far smaller acquisition in the security space, Symantec has bought PasswordBank, an enterprise single sign-on supplier from Spain.

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