Cisco Security Boss Gee Rittenhouse On Duo Acquisition, And What It Means For Partners

Cisco Security

Unified Access

Cisco said Thursday that it had struck a deal to acquire well-regarded identity and access management software firm Duo Security in a $2.35 billion cash deal. The move makes Duo a key component of Cisco's intent-based networking strategy and the linchpin of its broadening software-focused and subscription-based portfolio.

Duo's cloud-based SaaS solution for unified access security and multi-factor authentication will play an important role in extending Cisco's intent-based networking solutions into multi-cloud environments, and is also part of a larger strategy to integrate the networking giant's most important software and cloud products into a "single platform architecture," Executive Vice President and General Manager David Goeckeler said during a conference call Thursday to discuss the acquisition.

Cisco already has a close relationship with Duo, and will be absorbing Duo's approximately 700 employees, including CEO Dug Song. Duo, which does about 30 percent of its business through the channel, will be folded into Cisco's Security Business Group, which is led by Gee Rittenhouse. Song said Thursday he expects that number to grow under Cisco leadership. Here, Rittenhouse talks about integrating Duo into the Cisco ecosystem and the opportunities it presents for the channel.