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Cisco Bolsters Its Security Story

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is on the acquisition trail again. The vendor plans to buy security specialist Perfigo Inc. for $74 million in cash (see Cisco to Buy Perfigo for $74M).

The move won't have raised many eyebrows. Security is a hot market in which Cisco already has a strong grip in the enterprise space, and the vendor giant has already bolstered its security portfolio through acquisitions this year (see Cisco: It Takes Two to Twingo and Cisco to Acquire Netsolve).

And according to a new report, this latest move will be just one of a number of acquisitions Cisco will likely make as it seeks to plug its technology gaps (see When Will Cisco Go Soft? and M&A Mojo).

Perfigo's technology, which enables enterprises to manage access to their networks by identifying users, their devices, and their roles, will provide additional capabilities to those already offered in Cisco's Network Admission Control program. The aim of Perfigo's technology is to stop end users from introducing security threats such as worms and viruses to a LAN as they log on.

Cisco has already licensed Perfigo's CleanMachines product, launched only last November, and will make it available before the end of October. Perfigo claims the product is already supporting more than 1 million end users in companies around the world.

Perfigo was founded in May 2002 and backed, with an undisclosed sum, by seed funder Greylock, which had two partners on the four-strong Perfigo board.

The transaction is expected to close in Cisco's second quarter, which ends on January 29, 2005. Perfigo's staff will join Cisco's Security Technology Group.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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