NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Even though Cisco Systems (CSCO) snuffed out speculation it would consider acquiring FireEye (FEYE), it left the door open to buying other firms that could add value as cyber-criminals continue to evolve with more advanced techniques.
The market holds a variety of smaller publicly traded firms could provide alternatives to a FireEye acquisition by beefing up capabilities and technology solutions in the digital area that is increasingly vulnerable to security breaches.
Cisco's outgoing CEO John Chambers, who will soon be replaced by newly named CEO Chuck Robbins, tampered speculation the San Jose-based Cisco would acquire security company FireEye in an earnings call late Wednesday. In fact, FireEye's management said the company is not even for sale and won't be until at least annual revenue reach $1 billion, according to a report from Re/Code citing "sources familiar with management."
Regardless of FireEye's availability, Cisco CFO Kelly Kramer said the company is keeping an open mind on acquisitions, not just in security, but all areas, including software and cloud.
"We'll continue to be very acquisitive in the future," Kramer told TheStreet, without mentioning any possible targets. "The security space is very interesting -- it's very fragmented and it's an area we'll always look to grow in, both organically as well as inorganically."
In recent years, Cisco has firmed its software-defined networking abilities with acquisition like Cariden, Tail-F and Insieme Networks. Chambers has previously said the company is poised to be quite aggressive in acquiring more software vendors to complement its existing capabilities. Cisco has indeed already proven it wants to expand its security services with private acquisitions like Neohapsis, a deal that should close in the second quarter of 2015.