In a $2.7B deal, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) announced this morning that it has agreed to buy Sourcefire for $76 per share in cash. That’s nearly a 30% premium above Monday’s closing price. Sourcefire offers highly automated, intelligent security solutions that help enterprises and network operators cope with the growing array of modern cyber attacks.
The deal will bring substantial security talent in-house at Cisco, accelerating their product development in a segment of the market that clearly is rising in importance. Sourcefire will also contribute revenues that amounted to a respectable (if dwarfed by Cisco) $223.1M last year on 35% growth.
Frankly, it has seemed lately that the security sector has been playing catch-up relative to the proliferation of sophisticated attack types. It’s not that defenses don’t exist, but that no sooner do enterprises get one widely deployed than two entirely new threats have already emerged.
With growing complexity in IT environments, the shift to the cloud and the emerging technologies on which such things are based, and the rapid pace of technology as a whole, it’s a far cry from the world where we once worried only about viruses and worms and trojans. Remember when we relied on a few pieces of relatively cheap software and maybe a dedicated firewall to make it someone else’s problem?
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