Cisco Systems announced Tuesday that it plans to spend $635 million to buy privately held security firm OpenDNS to accelerate its cloud-based security portfolio. This follows Cisco’s effective corporate strategy of using acquisitions to expand into new markets and technology areas. Last year, Cisco acquired ThreatGRID, a unified malware analysis and threat intelligence suite that can identify and alert users to attacks in real-time. In 2013, they acquired Sourcefire for $2.7 billion, who are known for their commercial version of the famous Snort Intrusion Detection System and other Intrusion Prevention products.
In a statement, Cisco Chief Technology Officer Hilton Romanski said “As more people, processes, data and things become connected, opportunities for security breaches and malicious threats grow exponentially when away from secure enterprise networks,” Security researchers see the Internet of Things being a major driver of future breaches and it’s probably that companies will continue to spend more on protecting themselves from new attack vectors. According to their website OpenDNS protects more than 65 million daily users, handles 70 billion daily DNS requests at 2% of the worldwide Internet Requests.
What does OpenDNS do?
DNS, Domain Name System, is a critical part of the online experience, allowing us to send e-mails and browse the web with ease. Computers understand IP addresses, such as 2a03:2880:2110:df07:face:b00c:0:1 or 126.96.36.199. People on the other hand, enjoy seeing facebook.com (domain name) and typing that into their browser instead. DNS handles the conversion between IP address and domain names. Typically this conversion is left up to our Internet Service Provider or Cable Company, but with a subscription to OpenDNS, users can guarantee much more security built into this process. The traditional legacy DNS server may not be able to tell that a hacker has created a spoofed paypal.com and offers you this fake site to login with your valuable credentials. OpenDNS can not only tell the difference in this, but give administrators the ability to decide what kind of traffic they want to let in or block. Read here for more info.