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July 24, 2013
Cisco Systems Inc's announcement Tuesday that it plans to purchase Sourcefire Inc. in a US$2.7 billion deal signals a major effort to resuscitate the networking giant's increasingly shaky standing in the network security market.
Christopher Young, senior vice president of Cisco's Security Group, said during a shareholder call that the definitive agreement to buy Sourcefire fits Cisco's goal of becoming the "No. 1" security vendor for customers. "By bringing the innovation that Sourcefire brings in IPS, advance malware prevention, content-awareness ... the combination of the two companies is really going to have a big imprint on the industry overall," Young said.
Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, Cisco will pay $76 per share in cash in exchange for each Sourcefire share. Martin Roesch, the renowned founder and chief technology officer of Sourcefire, as well as the creator of the open-source Snort intrusion detection and prevention technology, will become vice president and chief architect of Cisco's Security Group and report directly to Young.
Cisco executives emphasized that the acquisition would pave the way for Cisco to provide a comprehensive and integrated family of security solutions. "[Sourcefire has] done very unique things in thinking about IPS, IDS, advanced malware [detection], threat awareness, and leveraging cloud-based intelligence ... to see malware infections before, during and after an attack," Cisco's Young said, pointing to Cisco's firewall, Web and email security businesses rounding out the newly combined portfolio. "It all maps very well with our strategy: A path to an integrated solution set that combines the best of both portfolios is achievable in near-term fashion."
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