Cisco said the deal would ensure it could push forward with its internet of everything strategy by helping to combine the two firms' expertise on the security of networks with products such as intrusion-prevention systems, next-generation firewalls and advanced malware protection.
Senior vice president for the Cisco Security Group Christopher Young said the technology acquired in the deal was a vital component of the firm’s effort to protect its customers from increasingly complex threats hitting their networks.
"The notion of the ‘perimeter' no longer exists and today's sophisticated threats are able to circumvent traditional, disparate security products,” he said. “Organisations require continuous and pervasive advanced threat protection that addresses each phase of the attack continuum.”
Hilton Romanski, vice president of Corporate Development at Cisco, added that the deal underlined the firm’s willingness to purchase the best firms in the market to meet its goals.
"Through our shared view of the critical role the network must play in cybersecurity and threat defence, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the most comprehensive approach to security in the market," he said.
Founded in 2001 and based in California, Sourcefire went public in 2008, and the deal will see Cisco pay $76 per share in the company, up from its trading price of around $59 in yesterday's trading. The firm has 650 employees worldwide and reported revenue of $223m last year.
The founder and chief technology officer of the firm, Martin Roesch, posted on Twitter about the deal, saying it was a great day for his company.