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​Why did Cisco buy CloudLock?

​Why did Cisco buy CloudLock?

Did Symantec and IBM trigger a Cisco spending spree?

Given Symantec’s recent acquisition of BlueCoat, and IBM’s organic buildout of its Cloud Security Enforcer CSG solution, it’s hardly surprising to see Cisco make its security move.

In announcing its intent to acquire Cloud security firm CloudLock for $US293 million, the networking giant hopes to further enhance its security portfolio, building on its Security Everywhere strategy, designed to provide protection from the Cloud to the network to the endpoint.

“As companies are migrating to the Cloud, they need a technology partner that can accelerate that transition and deliver critical security capabilities for all their users, apps and data in a seamless way,” Cisco vice president of Corporate Development, Rob Salvagno, said.

“CloudLock brings a unique Cloud-native, platform and API-based approach to Cloud security which allows them to build powerful security solutions that are easy to deploy and simple to manage.”

As explained by Salvagno, more data, more devices, and the increasingly decentralised way companies do business means that security has to evolve beyond an on-premises approach.

“CloudLock helps customers accelerate their Cloud adoption by delivering security built specifically to meet the realities of today’s Cloud-first enterprise,” he added.

“CloudLock’s CASB technology helps customers understand and monitor user behaviour and sensitive data in Cloud applications, providing greater visibility, compliance and threat protection regardless of whether these applications are fully sanctioned by IT or not.”

Salvagno said the acquisition will help accelerate Cisco’s Cloud security portfolio, and extend the Cloud security offering throughout the enterprise.

“Together, we plan to offer the industry’s broadest Cloud security protection and enable our customers to realise the benefits of the mobile-Cloud era,” he added.

Considering that CloudLock's DNA and pedigree is mainly in Cloud data governance and data leak prevention using API based connectivity to SaaS (and lately IaaS) apps without an own gateway solution, Forrester Research believe the reasons for the acquisition are clear.

“Cisco will integrate CloudLock's CSG offering with its own Ironport Secure Web Gateway (SWG) offering for interception of on-premise to Cloud traffic,” Forrester Research analyst, Andras Cser, observed.

“In addition, it will invest in improving machine learning and behavioural analytics (already there in CloudLock's CSG solution.”

For Cser, the acquisition will also help the vendor improve data protection and Cloud encryption in the solution, using its distribution channels to penetrate the lucrative and fast-growing, with Forrester Research estimateing 20-25 percent year-on-year global growth in the CSG market.

“We believe this will start an acquisition of wave in which other large SWG vendors will follow suit and acquire smaller CSG vendors,” Cser added.

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