Cisco to acquire identity-based cybersecurity provider Duo for $2.35B in cash

Cisco on Thursday announced plans for a mega-acquisition of Duo Security, maker of zero-trust authentication and access products, for a sum of $2.35 billion in cash.

In disclosing the agreement, Cisco said that it plans to integrate Duo’s cybersecurity features into its own network, device and cloud security platforms, enabling Cisco customers to easily and securely connect users to any application on any networked device.

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Duo’s zero-trust security platform dubbed Beyond confirms the identity of users, as well as the health of their devices, before they can reach applications, ensuring both users and devices are trusted and helping to prevent cybersecurity breaches. The company has also partnered with identity verification provider Inflection EPCS for its Identity Proofing solution.

Duo Security Advisory CISO – Federal Sean Frazer spoke at OWI’s KNOW 2018 conference in Washington D.C. this March. Duo Head of Product Design Sally Carson was also named one of OWI’s Top 100 Influencers in Identity earlier this year. And Duo was a featured company in OWI’s IAM whitepaper released in June.

Cisco said its acquisition of Duo Security will extend intent-based networking into multicloud environments, simplify policy for cloud security, and also expand endpoint visibility coverage.

“In today’s multicloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on- and off-premise,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business. “IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision. Duo’s zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments.”

Duo Chief Executive and cofounder Dug Song will lead the Duo team at Cisco as a general manager. Song will also be a part of Cisco’s Networking and Security arm.

“Our partnership is the product of the rapid evolution of the IT landscape alongside a modernizing workforce, which has completely changed how organizations must think about security,” Song said. “Cisco created the modern IT infrastructure, and together we will rapidly accelerate our mission of securing access for all users, with any device, connecting to any application, on any network. By joining forces with the world’s largest networking and enterprise security company, we have a unique opportunity to drive change at a massive scale, and reshape the industry.”

The $2.35 billion deal is expected to close in Cisco’s first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

OWI Insight: Duo offers flexible security by allowing users to authenticate with any device. Given continued cybersecurity trends toward mandatory 2-factor authentication, particularly in corporate environments, the acquisition of Duo appears to make an excellent fit for Cisco, particularly as the networking company looks to grow its presence in cloud computing and IoT.