Cisco has announced its intent to buy OpenDNS, an Internet security company that in recent years has focused its activities on the cloud sector. The cost of this acquisition is $635 million in cash and other incentives. Cisco already invested $35 million in OpenDNS just over a year ago. The OpenDNS team will join the Cisco Security Business Group. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016.
OpenDNS was founded in 2005 by David Ulevitch. The name refers to the fact that the original company service concerned the DNS, the servers that turn the website names into their equivalent numeric address, for which it provided a service open to all sources.
The OpenDNS service was immediately security-oriented allowing a verification of the calls to Internet sites that allowed to identify the possible presence of any malware. The company provided a free service for its personal use and a professional version for a fee.
Over the years, OpenDNS services have become wider and more sophisticated, especially with the network security suite called Umbrella, focusing on the cloud. Today, the company claims to protect 65 million Internet users in over 150 countries. For the most part, they’re home users who use the free service but there are also more than 10,000 organizations ranging from small businesses to big corporations.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is one of the most important companies in the world in the field of networking. In announcing the acquisition of OpenDNS, Cisco’s Director of Business Development explained the reasons mentioning the trend to the growth of the number of people connected on the Internet. Safety is a key factor today and the enormous potential of the Internet of Things – or Internet of Everything, as they seem to like to call it at Cisco – will increase the problems in this field.
Cisco already offers network security services and the acquisition of OpenDNS will allow the company to extend them. The idea is to combine OpenDNS cloud solutions to those already provided by Cisco to offer its customers maximum security in the cloud and in the Internet of Things.
Immediately after the announcement, on the Internet there were concerns for the future of the free OpenDNS service. A Cisco spokesperson stated that the service will keep on existing. We’ll see. Meanwhile, it’s certainly a good acquisition for Cisco, which enhances its security services.