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Cisco Acquires Kenna Security; MSPs and MSSPs Gain Vulnerability Management

Cisco Systems is acquiring Kenna Security, a cybersecurity company that develops risk-based vulnerability management technology. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 280 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

The deal, expected to close by mid-2021, will tuck threat and risk-based vulnerability management technology into the Cisco SecureX platform.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Kenna's customer base includes CVS, KPMG, and many Fortune 100 companies, the business says. Moreover, Kenna's technology integrates with all major industry vulnerability assessment platforms, the seller says.

Kenna Security was backed by venture capital ahead of the company sale. The company raised $48 million series D funding from Sorenson Capital, Citi Ventures and other firms in September 2019.

Cisco Systems Acquires Kenna Security: Potential MSP, MSSP Benefits Explained

Cisco Systems says the acquisition provides five potential benefits to customers. Indeed, Cisco says Kenna Security allows users to:

  • Discover and prioritize an organization's assets with a centralized, contextual view;
  • speed decision making with prioritization of vulnerability data based on threat intelligence and asset business value;
  • accelerate and simplify response with orchestration to proactively perform patch management or deploy virtual patching;
  • reduce friction associated with compliance efforts with a simple and easy way to generate compliance reports; and
  • enhance collaboration between security and IT teams to effectively deal with vulnerabilities to reduce risk for businesses.

Cisco did not mention potential MSSP or MSP use cases for Kenna Security's technology. However, Kenna has a SaaS subscription model that helps MSPs and MSSPs to drive recurring revenue. In theory, the as-a-service architecture should align well with Cisco's existing multi-tenant network and security management tools for MSPs -- including Duo, Meraki and Umbrella.

Cisco Acquires Kenna Security: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the acquisition, Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration, said:

"Hybrid work is here to stay, and the increasing complexity of cybersecurity is our customers' biggest challenge. We must radically simplify security to stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Our goal is to unify all critical control points into a single platform. With the addition of Kenna Security, we will fundamentally strengthen our platform experience by giving customers the ability to prioritize vulnerabilities based on a robust risk methodology that is tuned to their unique needs."

Added Karim Toubba, CEO of Kenna Security:

"Cisco is on a mission to reshape the way we think about security, and together we have a unique opportunity to fundamentally transform how organizations effectively manage risk at scale. As malicious actors continue to evolve their methods, we need to make it easier than ever for customers to predict, detect, prioritize and respond to the security threats that matter. The breadth and scale of Cisco coupled with Kenna Security's mastery of machine-learning and data science will reshape how the entire industry addresses cyber risk."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.