Cisco Expands Security Services Portfolio with Portcullis Acquisition

Portcullis acquisition builds on Cisco's acquisition of privately-held Neohapsis at the end of 2014.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 30, 2015
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Cisco is at it again, acquiring yet another company to add to its roster. This time the target is privately-held Portcullis Computer Security. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed at this time. Cisco expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, at which time Portcullis employees will become part of the Cisco Security Solutions group, led by Cisco Vice President James Mobley.

Portcullis is a UK-based security consultancy that offers services for testing and security response and research. On the testing side, Portcullis has penetration testing services, which are increasingly in demand due to new compliance guidelines such as PCI-DSS 3.1, which requires organization to conduct regular testing. Portcullis is very active in the PCI-DSS space and is an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV).

"We supply scanning and penetration testing services to companies seeking compliance with the PCI DSS, which was developed by members of the PCI Security Standards Council (including Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Discover Financial Services and American Express) with the aim of applying consistent data security measures to card payment accounts across the globe," the Portcullis website states.

Portcullis also offers source code review and web application assessment services to help ensure that organizations' applications and development efforts are secure. From a networking perspective, the Portcullis portfolio also includes network device testing, wireless assessment and VoIP assessment services, which should mesh well with Cisco's core offerings.

Another core element of the Portcullis portfolio that Cisco needs is incident response capabilities. The Cyber Threat Analysis and Detection Service (CTADS) is the branded name of the Portcullis incident response solution.

"Together, Cisco and Portcullis will provide strategic guidance to our clients to help them with their most difficult security challenges," Rob Salvagno, VP Corporate Business Development at Cisco, wrote in a blog post. "Through this acquisition, we increase our ability to offer robust security, risk and compliance services to help clients overcome operational and technical security challenges, anticipate and respond to new threats, and drive new business."

"When paired with Cisco’s existing security services portfolio, Portcullis will help accelerate Cisco’s security services business and more quickly expand its security consulting services outside of North America," Salvagno added.

The Portcullis acquisition builds on Cisco's acquisition of privately-held Neohapsis at the end of 2014. Neohapsis offers a variety of services, including application, cloud, compliance, mobile and network security services as well as IT risk and security strategy development. More recently in 2015, Cisco closed the $625 million acquisition of security vendor OpenDNS on August 27, further expanding Cisco's security capabilities.

Cisco's new CEO, Chuck Robbins, has publicly stated that he's bullish on his firm's prospects in the security market.

"I am very bullish about where we are with our security portfolio," Robbins said during Cisco's fourth quarter fiscl 2015 earnings call. "I think the team has done a tremendous job."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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