Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cisco Buys Sourcefire

Sourcefire announced today they've entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Cisco for $2.7 billion dollars. While it will obviously be a while before we see if this is a good thing or a bad thing for the network security industry, my experience has been that when big, bloated companies like Cisco or IBM buy out a smaller competitor and integrate them, it usually doesn't work out well. (For example, IBM buying ISS).

Some of the biggest concerns I've heard so far is that Cisco will try to integrate the Snort ruleset into their own products (ala PIX), or they will close the rule set, not allowing modifications or custom rules, or licensing will go up (bet on it) or the worse case scenario, the SF talent will be crowded out and exit, leaving us with Cisco engineers "improving" the product. If that happens, long time Sourcefire customers can meet all those folks who ran ISS at the corner pub and commiserate together over a cold one or two or ten.

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