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Cisco to Beef Up Intent-Based Networking with Duo Security Acquisition

Network Security

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from April and May.**

Privately held Duo Security has technology that Cisco sees as advantageous to its intent-based networking strategy, so Cisco Thursday announced its intent to acquire the company. Cisco will pay $2.35 billion in cash and assumed equity awards for the Michigan-based company.

Founded in 2010, Duo Security provides two-factor authentication, endpoint remediation and secure single sign-on tools. The company’s security solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications to help prevent cybersecurity threats. The vendor launched its first channel partner program aimed at MSPs last year.

Cisco's David Goeckler

Cisco’s David Goeckler

“In today’s multicloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on and off-premises,” 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.”

Gartner’s definition of intent-based networking is a piece of networking software that helps to plan, design, implement or operate networks that can improve network availability and agility. Think of it as life-cycle management software for networking infrastructure. Now insert concepts such as “smart,” “intelligent” and “automated,” and you begin to get the picture.

Cisco notes the acquisition will offer benefits such as:

  • Extended intent-based networking into multicloud environments: Duo Security’s SaaS model will be integrated with Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) product to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control.
  • Simplified policy for cloud security: By verifying user and device trust, Duo Security will add trusted identity awareness into Cisco’s Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, as well as other cloud-delivered products.
  • Expanded endpoint visibility coverage: Cisco’s in-depth visibility of more than 180 million managed devices will be augmented by Duo Security’s broad visibility of mobile and unmanaged devices.

In a blog to Duo Security employees that addresses what he calls the company’s next chapter, Dug Song, Duo Security CEO, co-founder and chairman, talks about the Cisco acquisition as the right thing for the company, partners and stakeholders.

“This agreement begins an exciting new chapter for Duo. With this deal, we will realize significant value for our shareholders, while gaining the opportunity to leverage Cisco’s global scale and resources to democratize security faster without compromising our vision,” he wrote.

When the acquisition closes, expected later this quarter, Duo Security will join Cisco’s networking and security business, led by Goeckeler. Song will continue to lead Duo Security.


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