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Cisco Aims to Improve Cloud Security with Observable Networks Acquisition

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Cisco already has a large portfolio of security technologies, but the networking giant is always looking to add even more capabilities.

On July 13, Cisco announced its intention to acquire privately-held Observable Networks to increase its cloud security capabilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cisco expects the deal to close in the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year.

"Observable Networks' technology is based on dynamic behavioral modeling of all devices on the network," Rob Salvagno, head of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments, wrote in a blog post. "Observable Networks' solutions provide security analysts with the ability to gain real-time situational awareness of all users, devices and traffic on the network, whether in the data center or the cloud. Its cloud-native machine learning techniques for device modeling identifies insider and external threats faster and more accurately."

"This design supports cloud environments and enables turn-key activation for customers using Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure," he added

Observable Networks was founded in 2001 and had raised $4.45 million in venture capital funding.

Observable Networks has three core products, including cloud, enterprise and ICS (Industrial Control System) offerings. All of the products provide a capability the company refers to as Dynamic Endpoint Modelling (DEM). The promise of DEM is a fully automated, real-time device level analysis of network traffic. DEM also provides organizations with continuous threat modelling across multiple dimensions including user and device groups and establish network policies.

"We view this as both a validation of our company’s realization of a big idea and an opportunity to take this big idea onto a bigger stage," Observable Networks CEO Bryan Doerr wrote in a blog post. "We’re very excited about next steps with Cisco, the Security Business Unit and the Stealthwatch Product Team."

The Stealthwatch product team at Cisco also joined the company by way of a $452.5 million acquisition of Lancope in December 2015.

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

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