Cisco to acquire Ann Arbor's Duo Security in $2.3B cash deal

The Duo Security team (Photo: Duo Security)

ANN ARBOR – Duo Security's record-breaking year just got even bigger.

Silicon Valley technology conglomerate Cisco announced Thursday its plans to acquire Ann Arbor-based Duo, a privately-held security startup famous for its multi-factor authentication method.

According to the agreement, Cisco will be paying $2.3 billion in cash and assumed equity awards, including Duo's outstanding shares, equity incentives and warrants.

Duo's zero-trust authentication and access products will allow Cisco customers to securely connect users on any network to any application.

"In today’s multi-cloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on- and off-premise," executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business David Goeckeler said in a press release. 

"IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision. Duo’s zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments."

In a world where customers and employees can access applications and data from any network on any device, savvy attackers know compromising user devices or passwords is the best way to access enterprise systems.

According to a 2017 data breach report by Verizon, stolen or weak passwords were the causes of the majority of hacking-related breaches.

"Our partnership is the product of the rapid evolution of the IT landscape alongside a modernizing workforce, which has completely changed how organizations must think about security," Duo Security’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dug Song said in a press release.

"Cisco created the modern IT infrastructure, and together we will rapidly accelerate our mission of securing access for all users, with any device, connecting to any application, on any network. By joining forces with the world’s largest networking and enterprise security company, we have a unique opportunity to drive change at a massive scale, and reshape the industry."

Cisco and Duo Security will work closely on designing infrastructure where the focus of the modern security architecture are the users, applications and devices.
According to the press release, the acquisition of Duo will:

•    Extend intent-based networking into multi-cloud environments. Cisco currently provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo’s software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control.
•    Simplify policy for cloud security. By verifying user and device trust, Duo will add trusted identity awareness into Cisco’s Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products.
•    Expands endpoint visibility coverage. Cisco’s in-depth visibility of over 180 million managed devices will be augmented by Duo’s broad visibility of mobile and unmanaged devices.
The acquisition is expected to be finalized at the beginning of Cisco’s fiscal year 2019, subject to required regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Dug Song will continue to lead Duo Security, which will join Cisco’s Networking and security business led by Goeckeler.
About Cisco

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About Duo Security

Duo Security helps defend organizations against data breaches by making security easy and effective. Duo Beyond, the company's category-defining zero-trust security platform, enables organizations to provide trusted access to all of their critical applications, for any user, from anywhere, and with any device. The company is a trusted partner to more than 12,000 customers globally, including Dresser-Rand, Etsy, Facebook, K-Swiss, Random House, Yelp, Zillow, Paramount Pictures, and more. Founded in Michigan, Duo has offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit, as well as growing hubs in Austin, Texas; San Mateo, California; and London, UK. Visit to find out more.