Cisco buys DevOp and Kubernetes security vendor PortShift

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Cisco buys PortShift to boost its security efforts across containers and Kubernetes. (FierceWireless)

Cisco is boosting its security solutions with a deal to buy Israeli startup PortShift. While Cisco didn't announce the financial terms of the deal, which is slated to close in the first half of Cisco's fiscal 2021, Globes reported that Cisco is paying around $100 million for PortShift.

According to Crunchbase, PortShift was founded two years ago by CEO Ran Ilany and CTO Zohar Kaufman. Ilany was the former head of the security infrastructure division at Check Point Technologies while Kaufman previously co-founded CTERA Networks, according to their LinkedIn bios.

PortShift has raised $5.3 million in seed funding from Team8, which is an incubator and backer for security startups in Israeli. As one of the corporate backers of Team8, along with Wal-Mart and Microsoft, Cisco was able to get an early look at PortShift's Kubernetes-native security platform.

Using Kubernetes, which is the de facto standard for containers, PortShift enables DevOps, security and operations teams to continuously secure the entire containerized applications lifecycle, from code to runtime.

Despite the proliferation of containers and Kubernetes, organizations are still struggling with security. According to recent report by Kubernetes security vendor StackRox, nearly half (44%) of respondents have delayed rolling out applications into production because of security concerns while 90% of the respondents have experienced a security incident.

Misconfiguratons are generally the top culprit for security issues related to containers while monitoring applications is also an issue. With PortShift in hand, Cisco will be able to address a multitude of container and Kubernetes security issues.

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"Today, the application security space is highly fragmented with many vendors addressing only part of the problem. The PortShift team is building capabilities that span a large portion of the lifecycle of the cloud-native application," said Cisco's Liz Centoni, senior vice president for strategy, emerging technologies and incubation, in a Thursday blog. "They bring cloud native application security capabilities and expertise for containers and service meshes for Kubernetes environments to Cisco, which will allow us to move toward the delivery of security for all phases of the application development lifecycle.

"They bring cloud native application security capabilities and expertise for containers and service meshes for Kubernetes environments to Cisco, which will allow us to move toward the delivery of security for all phases of the application development lifecycle."

Centoni said once the deal closes, the PortShift team will join Cisco's ET&I Group.