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Juniper Scouts for Multicloud Cybersecurity M&A Targets

Ray Le Maistre

Juniper Networks has set its sights on being a leading player in the multicloud cybersecurity sector and is ready to make a strategic acquisition to advance that strategy, the vendor's CEO told industry analysts at a briefing in London Wednesday.

Talking at a briefing on the company's strategy, CEO Rami Rahim noted that securing multicloud environments is a key market and that the company's Contrail Cloud system (a multifunctional telco cloud platform) would be evolved to provide such security, either organically or via M&A. The remark was shared via Twitter by Patrick Donegan, HardenStance founder and principal analyst and a contributing analyst to Heavy Reading (the smart part of the Light Reading empire).

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has a track record in making bolt-on acquisitions to enhance Contrail Cloud. Late last year it announced the acquisition of AppFormix, a cloud operations specialist that had developed a platform based around analytics and machine learning; Then just last month, Juniper announced it had enhanced Contrail Cloud with multiple features, including automation and analytics capabilities from AppFormix. (See Juniper Enhances Contrail Cloud.)

It also has a track record in security, of course, and is already one of the leading providers of network security technology. According to the latest HardenStance HardenStance Network Security Sales Index (NSSI), which tracks the sales of eight of the largest vendors of network security hardware and software, Juniper generated $287 million in revenues from security products in the 12 months to the end of September 2017.

However, of the eight vendors tracked by HardenStance, it is the smallest and the only one of the octet to have reported a year-on-year decline in network security product revenues in a market that is growing. Arch-rival Cisco, by comparison, grew its network security technology revenues by 9% to nearly $2.2 billion in roughly the same 12-month period.

It's been a busy week or so for Juniper -- check out further coverage of the company from this week below:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
12/10/2017 | 1:10:46 PM
Juniper's sorry security track record
Juniper has a track record in security all right. They acquired the well regarded NetScreen products in 2004 and ran them into the ground. They listened to their own One JUNOS fake marketing story and converted NetScreen products from ScreenOS to JUNOS killing feature velocity and creating so many bugs that it became a tech support escalation nightmare.

Many security people quit Juniper and formed Palo Alto which has out performed Juniper since it's founding and in the cited Hardenstance report has 7 X the security revenue of Juniper.  At mid year 2017 Juniper Networks' Security segment revenues had declined for six consecutive quarters. Despite his optimism Rami has not been able to turn this around. 

Let's not forget the Dual_EC vulnerabilty where Juniper put known insecure code in the NetScreen devices in 2012 that enabled a backdoor exploit and then failed to remedy the problem for years. The situation was investigated by the FBI in 2015 due to national security risks. Juniper continued to fumble fixing the situation even after it was reveled to them.

This is what happens when your security experts leave the company and the maintenane team is left in charge of the products. 
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