Next In Line: 5 Security Companies Cisco Might Acquire

Who's Next?

As Cisco dives head first into the security market with new products and acquisitions, the networking giant is also spending millions in investments surrounding a handful of security companies.

Cisco maintains a $2 billion investment fund with 80 direct investments around the globe, according to a recent report from UBS analyst Amitabh Passi. Within security, the San Jose, Calif.-based company's portfolio includes five companies.

"We have recently seen some precedents of Cisco acquiring its portfolio companies," said Passi.

In 2015, Cisco has already acquired three companies that had been in the same security investment portfolio – Embrane, Piston Cloud Computing and OpenDNS. Here are five companies that Passi believes could be next in line to be bought.


CEO: John De Santis

HyTrust provides network infrastructure solutions offering access control, active directory, host hardening, logging and root access services. Founded in 2007, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has raised a total of $92.5 million in six rounds of funding from 11 investors including Intel, Fortinet and VMware.

HyTrust also offers cloud security automation solutions, such as HyTrust CloudControl -- a control point that adds critical authentication, authorization and auditing for administrators of virtual infrastructure -- as well as HyTrust Data Control, a solution that provides strong encryption for virtual machines in any public or hybrid cloud, along with easy-to-deploy key management, according to Passi's report.


CEO: Rajeev Khanolkar

Edison, N.J.-based SecurView, founded in 2006, already has a partnership with Cisco by which its services support Cisco's email and Web security solutions as well as Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for BYOD.

"SecurView really fits into the government space, especially in classified networks, where you're able to separate out different networks and different types of network traffic along with some of the network security stuff that Cisco can already do," said Greg Kushto, director of security practice for Force 3, a Crofton, Md.-based network security solution provider ranked No. 79 on CRN's 2015 Solution Provider 500 list and a Cisco partner. "SecurView is really good for us, being pretty government-focused."

SecurView uses a Software-as-a-Service platform to provide an in-the-cloud delivery model that offers an end-to-end suite of risk management and managed security solutions to help reduce time, cost and risk associated in delivering infrastructure services such as unified communication and security.


CEO: Josh Lefkowitz

The startup Flashpoint touts itself as being the pioneer in the monitoring of threatening communities active in the "Deep & Dark Web" -- areas of the Internet "impenetrable" to mainstream search engines in environments that are highly anonymized and conduct malicious activities, according to the report.

The company says it delivers highly differentiated, searchable and structured data from a variety of illicit communities operating in the Deep & Dark Web, and tactical and strategic intelligence reports. In its first round of funding in April, Flashpoint nabbed $5 million from investors like Bloomberg, TechOperators Venture Capital and Greycroft.


CEO: J. Paul Haynes

The computer security service company eSentire offers Cybersecurity-as-a-Service with a focus on advanced threat detection and intervention.

The Ontario, Canada-based company uses a combination of its own threat intelligence, third-party feeds and its packet-capture analytics platform to monitor and detect threats. When the threat is detected, its Security Operations Center analysts use forensics capabilities to manage the threat, according to the report. Founded in 2001, eSentire has captured a total of $19.6 million in two rounds of funding from five investors including VentureLink LP and Edison Partners.

"What Cisco is doing now is acquiring some of these smaller pieces like OpenDNS, maybe [eSentire] and that way they're going to be able to work it into the overall architecture," said Force 3's Kushto.


CEO: Niel Viljoen

Netronome is a developer of flow-processing silicon and software aimed to increase network performance for virtualized servers and networks by off-loading compute-intensive workloads like security, flow analysis, content processing, deep packet inspection, intelligent load balancing and network virtualization, said Passi.

The Cranberry Township, Pa.-based company was founded in 2003 and has generated $73.2 million in four rounds of funding from nine investors such as Intel Capital, Tudor Investments and Raptor Ventures.


CEO: Nadav Zafrir

Team8 is focused on developing disruptive technologies and launching new cybersecurity companies while working with IT leaders and entrepreneurs to create differentiated, independent leaders in the cybersecurity market, according to the report. The Israel-based firm captured $18 million in its first round of funding from five investors, including Cisco competitor Alcatel-Lucent.

The company was founded in December 2013 to provide the capital, research, expertise, network and talent to start up teams tackling difficult cybersecurity challenges.