Cisco Plans To Acquire Observable Networks To Bolster Stealthwatch, Cloud Security Capabilities

Cisco Sytems Thursday unveiled plans to acquire forensics security software startup Observable Networks in an effort to extend the reach of its network visibility platform, Stealthwatch, into the cloud.

Observable Networks is a privately held company with network-security-as-a service technology that focuses on cloud deployments. Cisco plans to combine Observable Networks' cloud-native machine-learning techniques for device modeling with Stealthwatch to boost visibility and response time across the entire IT landscape for businesses, including remote branch offices, data centers and public cloud environments.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

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St. Louis-based Observable Networks' network forensics security applications are delivered as a service. The technology gives businesses real-time visibility into users, endpoints and traffic, regardless of whether it's on the network, in the data center or in a cloud environment.

Stealthwatch, injected with technology from Observable Networks, will let businesses identify both insider and external threats faster and more accurately. Perhaps most importantly, Observable's technology can be activated in public cloud environments, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, said Rob Salvagno, head of corporate development and Cisco investments in a blog post about the acquisition Thursday.

The latest acquisition proves that Cisco is looking to give its cloud security strategy a boost, according to one Cisco partner who asked not to be named.

"This looks like a relatively small investment for Cisco, but they seem to have intellectual property in the cloud security space that Cisco must feel like is a missing component from its portfolio," the partner said.

According to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, the Observable Networks team will join Cisco's Security Business Group, led by David Ulevitch, senior vice president and general manager of the unit.

Cisco said that it expects the transaction to close during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.