Cisco snaps up Oort to bolster identity management technology

Other 2023 Cisco acquisitions include Accedian for network performance monitoring, Armorblox for large language models, and SamKnows for monitoring broadband networks.

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Cisco is continuing its summer buying spree with the acquisition of security startup Oort for an undisclosed amount.

Oort offers an identity threat detection and response platform for enterprise security.  Founded in 2019, Oort raised $15 million in Series A funding that included money from Cisco’s venture capital arm.

“With Oort’s API-driven, cloud-native, and agentless platform, they eliminate identity visibility gaps across disparate data sources, show misconfigurations, check for security vulnerabilities, and offer predictive identity analytics to proactively stop attacks,” wrote Raj Chopra, senior vice president and chief product officer for Cisco Security, in a blog about the acquisition. 

The Oort system also cuts down on remediation time by giving enterprises a clear understanding of the blast radius of an identity-related incident, Chopra stated. 

“For example, if an attacker stole an employee’s credentials, giving them access to twenty different systems, Oort can identify the four systems that were actually compromised and require further remediation,” Chopra stated.

Oort’s identity-centric technology will become part of Cisco’s overarching Security Cloud offerings, which include its Duo Identity Access Management (IAM) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) portfolios.

In his own blog about the acquisition, Oort CEO Mat Caulfield wrote: “Identity is fundamental to security. With the advent of XDR, it’s more important than ever to correlate telemetry from IAM systems with signals from EDR and network security. With the rise of Zero Trust Network Access, strong authentication and continuous analytics are the prerequisites to a solid enterprise security architecture.”

In addition to its technology, Oort has extensive third-party relationships with vendors including Google, Microsoft, Okta, and Auth0.

The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of October, is Cisco’s third since June and its seventh this year.

Most recently, Cisco announced plans to acquire privately held broadband-network monitoring company SamKnows for an undisclosed amount.

SamKnows uses a global network of software agents dispersed among home systems, mobile devices and service provider networks, for example, to get a real-time measurement of internet performance and customer experience. Through a central dashboard, the company can analyze the results, spot faults, and identify the root cause of problems to help with remediation.

Another June deal is Cisco's planned acquisition of Accedian Networks for an undisclosed price. Accedian's performance analysis and monitoring platform – aimed at mobile backhaul, data center services, service providers and cloud connectivity customers – provides network visibility, diagnoses problems and recommends remediation.

Cisco’s other acquisitions this year include Armorblox for large language models, Smartlook for mobile application monitoring, Lightspin for cloud security, and Valtix for cloud network security.

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