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Cisco focuses on application security with Portshift acquisition

Cisco has made plans to acquire Israeli startup Portshift in an effort to bolster its security solutions for a reported, but not confirmed, price of $100 million.

Through the use of Kubernetes, an open-source container-orchestration system for computer automation, Portshift enables DevOps, security and operations teams to continuously secure the entire containerized applications lifecycle.

In a blog, Cisco’s Liz Centoni, senior vice president for strategy, emerging technologies and incubation, identified the application security space as being “highly fragmented,” and therefore, many vendors are only addressing part of the problem.

“The Portshift team is building capabilities that span a large portion of the lifecycle of the cloud-native application,” said Centoni. “They bring cloud native application security capabilities and expertise for containers and service meshes for Kubernetes environments to Cisco, which will allow us to move toward the delivery of security for all phases of the application development lifecycle.”

She added that both Cisco and Portshift, among other things, are committed to “breaking down the siloes between developers, security teams, infrastructure teams, operations and SRE teams.”

According to Centoni, as adoption of cloud-native applications continue to accelerate, platform engineers and cloud architects are shifting focus to prioritize value-added services that provide: velocity, with visibility and control; simplicity, along with security; flexibility and portability, without any lock-in; and “minimal-toil” operating models, with “as-a-service” consumption.

Previous Cisco acquisitions show that this latest one might part of a larger cybersecurity strategy. It has also made a number of acquisitions in the area of cybersecurity. Two years ago, the company purchased Ann Arbor, MI-based security firm Duo for $2.35 billion, and before that, it acquired OpenDNS, which is a cloud security company.

And only a few weeks ago, Cisco bought Babble Labs, a startup that, although primarily helps reduce background noise in video calls, is also helps users avoid unintended listeners from hearing private conversations.

Cisco has also been building container services for some time now.

The deal will close in the first half of Cisco’s FY21 and the Portshift team will join Cisco’s ET&I group.

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