Cybersecurity and AI: Cisco buys Splunk for $28 billion

Cisco has announced plans to acquire data analytics solutions provider Splunk. This acquisition comes against a backdrop of companies’ need for threat detection capabilities in the context of the explosion of AI.

Valued at $28 billion, the acquisition will form one of the world’s largest software companies, Cisco said in a statement Thursday. The network equipment supplier added that the transaction would also increase its revenues.

The union will power “the next generation of AI-driven security and observability,” moving companies from threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, CEO Chuck Robbins said and president of Cisco, in a blog post.

Coverage across apps, devices and the cloud

The IT landscape will continue to evolve as organizations digitize their businesses and AI adoption accelerates, Robbins said, noting that these new technologies bring new opportunities as well as greater complexity .

“Data is one of the most powerful resources in business, with every organization relying on it to stay securely connected, manage their business and make critical decisions,” he said. “However, customers need a better way to manage, protect and unlock the real value of data.”

The addition of Splunk’s data analytics platforms will strengthen Cisco’s security offerings, providing coverage across applications, devices and the cloud, the vendor said.

“A level of complexity that organizations have never faced”

“Taking into account the acceleration and adoption of generative AI, the widening threat surface and the multiplicity of cloud environments, this creates a level of complexity that organizations have never before faced,” Cisco said.

“In addition to data and security challenges, generative AI is rapidly transforming industries and creating new opportunities,” Robbins noted. “Together, Cisco and Splunk see a broad spectrum of data across applications, security and networking.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approval, after which Gary Steele, Splunk’s president and CEO, will join the management team of Cisco and will report to Mr. Robbins.

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