Cisco Closes Sourcefire Acquisition

Networking giant Cisco Systems is one of the most experienced organizations on the planet when it comes to rapidly closing acquisition deals. Case in point is the company’s acquisition of network security vendor Sourcefire.

Cisco first announced its intention to acquire Sourcefire on July 23rd of this year. The deal has Cisco paying $76 dollars per Sourcefire share for a total acquisition cost of $2.7 billion.

Now that the acquisition has officially closed, Sourcefire’s assets and people become part of the Cisco Security Group, led by SVP Chris Young. Enterprise Networking Planet caught up with Young earlier this year for an exclusive 1:1 video interview. At the time, Young stressed that security is a good business for Cisco and will continue to grow.

With the acquisition of Sourcefire, Young now gets a key new commander to help him grow the security business. Martin Roesch, founder and one-time CEO of Sourcefire, now reports to Young and holds the title of vice president and chief architect for Cisco’s Security Group.

Enterprise Networking Planet also spoke with Roesch earlier this year in an exclusive 1:1 video interview. Roesch is famous in the information security world for creating the open source SNORT Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), which remains at the core of Sourcefire. While IPS is important, Roesch said at the time that the Network Control Point is the foundation of enterprise security. That control point isn’t necessarily a product called an IPS, but rather a device, platform or architecture that provides the control and necessarily visibility.

In a blog post this week, Roesch waxed nostalgic about his early day and the creation of SNORT.

“My excitement over the opportunity, however, far outweighs the nostalgia,” Roesch said. “In my new role as vice president and chief architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group, I can assure you that Sourcefire’s standard for security innovation will thrive under Cisco with our shared commitment to provide market-leading, threat-focused capabilities.”

Two Firewalls

With Sourcefire now part of Cisco, the company will offer multiple sets of Firewall and IPS platform choices to customers. Cisco’s existing ASA firewall and IPS platforms will coexist alongside the Sourcefire FirePOWER platform.

The Sourcefire FirePOWER platform includes multiple layers of capabilities and was first introduced in April of 2011 and expanded multiple times since then.

“Cisco plans to drive both the ASA and FirePOWER platforms forward and leverage current hardware for future solutions,” Young wrote in a blog post.

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

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