Cisco to Buy Security Service Firm Neohapsis

The networking giant is adding to its security portfolio in such areas as mobility, cloud computing and the Internet of things.

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For Cisco Systems and other vendors looking to become enterprise IT solution and service providers, security needs to be a key part of the overall portfolio. Cisco for the past several years has been building its security capabilities through both in-house development and acquisitions.

The latest acquisition is security advisory firm Neohapsis. Cisco officials announced the purchase for the private company Dec. 10, though no financial details were released. Neohapsis will be folded into Cisco's Security Services group, which is led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Bryan Palma.

The deal is expected to close early next year.

According to its Website, Neohapsis offers an array of security services that touch on everything from applications and compliance to mobile, network, endpoint and the cloud. For Cisco, Neohapsis will give it the tools to offer security advice to organizations that are looking to understand how security threats impact their businesses, according to Hilton Romanski, senior vice president and head of business development at Cisco.

"The skills and capabilities companies need to maintain a strong security posture, keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and take full advantage of new technologies that can protect their businesses are rare and difficult to retain," Romanski wrote in a post on the company blog. "The right advisory service can change all of that."

Neohapsis President and CEO James Mobley said his company's services will be a good fit for Cisco, particularly in the networking vendor's push into the Internet of things (IoT).

"We share with Cisco a global enterprise customer base, and a commitment to help our customers address their most challenging threats, especially in the rapidly evolving mobile and cloud arenas," Mobley wrote in a post on the Neohapsis site. "Because of Neohapsis' and Cisco's shared focus on the Internet of Everything, the opportunity to do groundbreaking work together is enormous. Together, what we bring to enterprise customers, IoT device manufacturers, and associated service providers will be unique in the market."

Cisco executives have said that the Internet of everything—which they say encompasses the things in the IoT as well as applications, processes and people—will be as large a transition in the industry as the Internet was decades ago. They expect that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices worldwide, and that the financial impact on businesses globally will be $19 trillion.

The company wants its technologies—from its core networking products to its data center portfolio and growing lineup of software and services—to be the foundational platform for the Internet of everything. Security will be a key part of all that. Over the past several years, Cisco has expanded what it can do in security through such acquisitions as Sourcefire, Cognitive Security and ThreatGrid.

Earlier this year, Cisco, which last year created an IoT business unit, sponsored a $300,000 contest to spur the development of security products for the Internet of things, a contest so popular that the company had to extend the deadline. The company also is involved with a couple of industry groups—the AllSeen Alliance and the Open Interconnect Consortium—that are developing standards for the IoT.