The acquisition that introduced Cisco to the world of Developers & DevOps 

Cisco, which acquired Portshift at the end of 2020, has launched a new platform for securing  application development processes in the cloud using Kubernetes. The platform, named Panoptica, helps developers secure their cloud environment, and alert them to any problems before the code reaches the target environment. This will be Cisco’s first cloud native security platform that will incorporate all existing security solutions for containers, API and Serverless. 

The massive transition in recent years to applications that run in the cloud (cloud-native) has  also fundamentally changed the process of code development and implementation. To meet the  new needs of developers, the DevOps field was born. DevOps role is to provide developers with  convenient, efficient and flexible infrastructure for the development and deployment of cloud based applications. Today, in the development of applications, developers rely on tools such as  containers and microservices, which allow them to write code and make changes, without  having to update an application’s entire code. 

Cisco’s solutions provide a holistic security and visibility solution for this new development environment, which often contains countless containers and microservices in a distributed cloud architecture. Cisco’s solutions are based on Kubernetes, which is the common work environment in the worlds of DevOps. This makes the implementation of its solutions both simple and agentless. 

If in the past these methods were common only on the fringes of the technological ecosystem,  mainly among development companies and start-ups. Today it is standard practice across the entire industry. In fact, the widespread adoption of DevOps among organizations is what led  Cisco to put a spotlight on the field and look for innovative technologies that will expand its  portfolio of solutions it can provide. 

CEO and co-founder of Portshift, Ran Ilany [pictured above], explained in a conversation with Techtime: “The  industry is maturing. If in the past DevOps was an esoteric field, today everyone works with these infrastructures, which is why all aspects of security need to be addressed, and security managers in organizations want everything under one umbrella. Of course, it’s also important that it be without ‘friction’ and does not hinder the developers. That’s where the market is going – consolidation in security services, and that’s where our platform is going too.” 

The purchase of Portshift was made through Cisco’s arm for identifying innovative technologies (Emerging Technologies and Incubation (ET&I)), whose role is to develop and identify early-stage start-up companies that develop solutions that may be relevant to Cisco’s core business  activities.  

Cisco completed the purchase of Portshift in October 2020, and according to estimates paid about $100 million for it, a rather high amount considering the fact that Portshift has raised a  total of $5.3 million since its inception, led by Team8, in which Cisco is one of the investors. 

Speaking on the purchase, Ilany commented: “Cisco wants to reach new markets early and quickly. In large organizations it is not always easy to do this through organic divisions, and this is why they established ET&I, to generate new business opportunities through acquisitions of  start-up companies. Apart from the products we develop, we also serve as an anchor on which  the Cisco ecosystem of innovation in Israel is based in the world of cloud-native security  development.” 

Cisco’s Israeli ecosystem in the field of cloud development expanded significantly in August 2021, with the purchase of Epsagon, which develops solutions for monitoring faults in cloud based applications. According to Ilani, additional purchases may be made in the future. “We  want to establish and expand our Israeli center here, both through the development of our product and through strengthening ties with Israeli companies in the field of cloud-native  security. The intention is to make additional purchases in Israel in the field of cloud infrastructure security and development.”