The acquisition reflects Cisco’s focus on security for cloud-native development environments.

Cisco has announced its intent to acquire PortShift, an Israeli startup that has built a Kubernetes-native security platform.

Portshift uses Kubernetes and Service-Mesh to deliver a single source of truth for containers and cloud-native applications security. Portshift claims to be the only solution offering an agentless approach with a single Kubernetes admission controller for seamless integration.

The two companies are not strangers. PortShift had raised about $5.3 million from Team8, a venture capitalist incubator for security startups in Israel. Cisco is one of the financial backers of Team8.

Delivering security for the DevOps life cycle

Liz Centoni, Cisco’s SVP of the Emerging Technologies and Incubation (ET&I) Group, announced the PortShift deal in a recent blog post.

“The Portshift team is building capabilities that span a large portion of the life cycle of the cloud-native application’ she wrote. “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​ life cycle.”

Centoni detailed two specific areas where PortShift will add value to Cisco’s offering.

First, Cisco will focus on developing new application and workload security​ software services. These services will provide seamless button-click deployment of a robust security framework. This will add velocity and simplicity into customers’ CI/CD pipelines and their eventual production run-time environments​.

The move will also provide increased flexibility for the dev-deploy chain, according to Centoni. This applies to policy enforcement, vulnerability management, risk management, and run-time security and observability hooks.

PortShift provides an all-in-one platform covering the many aspects of Kubernetes security. This capability is what interested Cisco, according to Centoni.

“Today, the application security space is highly fragmented with many vendors addressing only part of the problem,” she writes. “The Portshift team is building capabilities that span a large portion of the life cycle of the cloud-native application.”

Cisco has not disclosed the terms of the deal. The acquisition will likely close in the first half of Cisco’s 2021 fiscal year.

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