Driving Cisco’s Innovation Engine with Intent to Acquire Duo Security

August 2, 2018 - 10 Comments

Acquisitions have long played a key role in Cisco’s build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop innovation strategy. They help position us to enter new growth markets and extend our leadership in priority areas such as security. That’s why I am excited about our intent to acquire Duo Security, the leading provider of unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud.

Duo helps protect organizations against cyber breaches by making security easy and effective based on the trustworthiness of users and devices. The company’s cloud-based software solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications – helping prevent breaches and account takeover.  Read more about how this acquisition will impact our technology strategy in a blog by David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business.

In addition to Duo’s expected impact on Cisco’s strategy, I am extremely impressed by the Duo team and the business it has built.  Dug Song and Jon Oberheide, Duo’s co-founders, have a rich history in security and have created an organization and culture that have led to Duo being one of the most admired companies in security. Duo has distinguished itself with customers because of its ease of use and the experience end-users have with its products. In fact, about 75 percent of Duo’s customers are up and running in less than a week, compared to six to 12 months for comparable products. This focus on customer success has led to over 12,000 customers, including over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, strong renewal rates, and a very impressive net promoter score.

And customer experience is only the start in what has made Duo a great company, not only in security, but in SaaS in general. Duo has demonstrated strong top-line growth, that is substantially all subscription-based, with healthy margins, built upon a successful go-to-market engine that has allowed it to access customers from small- and medium-sized businesses to multinational enterprises.

Finally, it is worth recognizing that Cisco is both the leader in networking and also the largest enterprise security vendor in the world. This means that Duo’s opportunity with Cisco extends well beyond security to Cisco’s entire intent-based networking strategy. Cisco’s ability to drive Duo’s relevance across the entire extended enterprise, both through our integrated security and network architecture, as well as through our go-to-market channels, gives me confidence that we have the opportunity to deliver significant value with this acquisition.

Duo has about 700 employees working from offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Detroit, Austin, Texas; San Mateo, Calif. and London.  We expect the acquisition to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2019.

I am very excited to welcome the Duo Security team to Cisco.

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  1. Are you aware that Duo is currently involved in a pending lawsuit in which they are charged with patent infringement by STRIKEFORCE Technologies? If so, what are your feelings and/or concerns regarding this issue. Thank you in advance for your reply! 🙂

  2. Awesome!

  3. Awesome! I read about them in the local Ann Arbor paper while visiting and thought they sounded like a fantastic company. Exciting development!

  4. DUO 2FA when using out-of-band is infringing on StrikeForce Tech's IP. They are in litigation with SFT and DUO's IPR was denied by PTAB! Any MFA/2FA OOB being done is clearly SFT IP, which PTAB just recently confirmed.

    I wonder if DUO has advised Cisco about this?

    • Cisco must be aware of StrikeForce's Patent Infringment Litigation against Duo. Why else would Cisco pay $2.3 Billion, when Duo's Market Cap was Half that Value a year ago. Imo, the Settlement, Royalities, Duo will have to pay to StrikeForce Technologies was included the $2.3 Billion Dollar Price Tag, not to mention the Treble (3X) Damages that the courts may impose on Duo.

      I think it's travesty, that DUO built it's Huge customer base mainly on infringing upon StrikeForce Technologie's Patented Out of Band Authentication which was first patented by StrikeForce's CTO in 2003.
      It's been an uphill battle for little StrikeForce as it continues it's David vs Golith Battle.

      Duo is not the only Company StrikeForce has in Court for Patent Infringment as the current case's are about to come to the Righteous Verdict Conclusion.

      As a former shareholder of Cisco in the 1990's I admired Cisco's Growth under the honorable CEO John Chambers.

  5. Good for this acquisition!

    Complete suite to protect your access to apps

  6. Congrats on the acquisition. How will the Duo acquisition impact Cisco's planned use of PingID?

  7. Good choice! I'm using Duo 2FA for many years and it's one that gets easy accepted by the customers because of it's ease of use for the enduser.

  8. Great work Rob and team!

  9. Congrats and hope great developments soon!