Cisco Snorts up Sourcefire in $2.7bn acquisition

On Tuesday, Cisco announced that they've moved to acquire Sourcefire, the company best known for the open source IDS tool Snort. The deal will see Cisco pay $76 per share for Sourcefire, for a total purchase price of roughly $2.7 billion.

Cisco says that the acquisition of Sourcefire plays well into their "build-buy-partner innovation strategy," adding that the merger of the two will add a team with "deep security DNA" to the networking and infrastructure giant, in order to help them further their push into the network and offer customers more security in more places.

"Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco's future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy. Through our shared view of the critical role the network must play in cybersecurity and threat defense, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the most comprehensive approach to security in the market," Hilton Romanski, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development said in a statement.

The acquisition was approved by the board of directors for each firm. While many details were left out of the announcement, Cisco did confirm they were paying a premium for Sourcefire. The deal is set for $76 per share in cash in exchange for each share of Sourcefire, as well as the assumption of all outstanding equity awards for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.7 billion.

Sourcefire has about 650 employees, and during conference call on Tuesday it was announced that all of them would be moving to Cisco to work in a division headed by Cisco's Chris Young. In addition, many of the senior management from Sourcefire will take on roles within Cisco in order to help drive security strategies going forward.

"This was a move Cisco had to make. Pure and simple," wrote Securosis' Mike Rothman in a blog post.

"The trends are clear. Enterprises are re-architecting their perimeter security environments."

Further, Rothman adds, in order to make this deal work, Cisco will need to make sure that Sourcefire's founder and CTO, Marty Roesch, and his team take over the reigns for security strategy.

"...if they can't keep Marty visible and engaged (beyond his contractual commitment), there will be a mass exodus as we've seen from all of the other big deals in the security space...This is not a slam dunk for Cisco, they still have to do the work and regain their network security mojo - which has been long gone. But they really didn't have a choice. They wrote a big check to solve a big problem. And it's not a lot more complicated than that."

Read more about security leadership in CSOonline's Security Leadership section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Cisco acquisitionsourcefireCisco SystemssecurityciscoSecurity LeadershipSnort

More about CiscoCisco SecurityCisco SecurityPure

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Steve Ragan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place