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Cisco corporateCisco has announced its intent to acquire cloud security company CloudLock in a $293 million deal which is expected to close in Q1 2017, writes Telecoms.com.

CloudLock specializes in cloud access security broker (CASB) technology which provides insight and analytics focused on user behaviour and sensitive data in the cloud. The move builds on Cisco’s ‘Security Everywhere’ strategy, its initiative designed to provide protection from the cloud to the network to the endpoint.

“As companies are migrating to the cloud, they need a technology partner that can accelerate that transition and deliver critical security capabilities for all their users, apps and data in a seamless way,” said Rob Salvagno, VP of Cisco Corporate Development. “CloudLock brings a unique cloud-native, platform and API-based approach to cloud security which allows them to build powerful security solutions that are easy to deploy and simple to manage.”

CASB technology is an aspect of cloud security which has caught the attention of a number of decision makers in recent months. When we spoke to Intel Security CTO Raj Samani earlier this month, he told us CASB solutions were set to be one of the largest talking points for the cloud security market segment in the next couple of years.

“Companies will find controls and measures to give them a level of trust in a vendor to ensure they can operate effectively,” said Samani at the time. “CASBs will be one of the biggest trends we’ll see in the next couple of years.”

“CASB is the ultimate business case, because you can do things faster and more efficiently – you can actually but an ROI and a TCO next to it.”

The purpose of CASB solutions is to sit between the cloud provider and cloud consumer to consolidate multiple types of security policies including authentication, single sign-on, encryption, tokenization and malware detection. The CASB solution offers a level of assurance for those customers who have concerns over the security provided by cloud providers themselves, as the concept of secure and risk with vary dependent on the company.

By integrating CASB solutions, a cloud consumer can dictate how many additional layers of security are placed on top of a cloud provider’s offering, to allow the cloud consumer to define their own risk profile. The concept of CASB on the whole could go some way to mitigate the security concerns for those companies who have not currently adopted the cloud for more sensitive workloads.

Aside from this acquisition, Cisco has been bolstering its security capabilities through additional purchases, including Lancope for $452.5 million last December. Lancope helps customers monitor, detect, analyse and respond to modern threats on enterprise networks through continuous network visibility and threat analysis.

Cisco is one of a number of tech giants who have been forced to reconsider their primary focus, as cloud computing continued to increase its grip on IT decision making. During the company’s most recent earnings call, IoT was outlined as a target growth segment, though the security business unit was prominent during the financials, growing 17% year-on-year.

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