Cisco has named David Ulevitch head of its Security Business, succeeding David Goeckeler, who last June was promoted from managing the company's security operations to handle both security and Cisco's core networking hardware business as senior vice president and general manager of the Networking and Security Business.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s security revenue is a sliver of its total, but Ulevitch believes that comparison skews how the operation is viewed. Security operations at Cisco are heading toward a $2 billion run rate in sales and the operation is experiencing consistent double-digit growth. No one else comes close to that, Ulevitch bragged to Light Reading in a recent interview -- not Palo Alto, not Symantec, he said.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. had 2016 revenue of $1.4 billion (Palo Alto's fiscal 2016 ended August 13). Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) reported 2016 revenue of $3.6 billion. Neither is experiencing consistent double-digit growth rates, however.
Either way, security is clearly a big and still-growing business for Cisco and others. Intel for example, acquired McAfee, and is building a security operation around that. Oracle in November bought cloud security startup Palerra, which was founded by Oracle alumni.
Cisco itself achieved its size in security through acquisition. In 2013 the company bought Sourcefire for $2.7 billion, in 2015 spent $652.5 million on OpenDNS and another $452.5 million on Lancope and earlier this year added CloudLock for $293 million.
Ulevitch joined with OpenDNS, a cloud security specialist he founded in 2006. His appointment was announced on Twitter by John N. Stewart, Cisco's senior vice president and chief security and trust officer.
— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading