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Cisco Leans on AirDefense

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has confirmed speculation it is turning to wireless LAN security startup AirDefense Inc. in an effort to beef up its 802.11 enterprise kit, a deal flagged by Unstrung earlier this week (see AirDefense Secures Cisco?).

The incumbent vendor plans to integrate AirDefense’s intrusion detection system (IDS) kit within its Aironet wireless LAN infrastructure. The IDS equipment is used to warn IT administrators of attacks on the network.

Cisco announced news of the tie-up in the launch of its latest 802.11a/b/g dualband access points (see Cisco Teams With AirDefense).

“We have an intrusion detection mechanism in our SWAN architecture but AirDefense had a better solution,” admits Cisco’s Christophe Servais, marketing manager for the vendor's service provider mobility technologies division. “That’s something we and our customers recognised.”

Cisco’s latest security move follows its intention to acquire Perfigo Inc. for $74 million in cash, announced last month (see Cisco Picks Up Perfigo).

Today’s announcement is also a major shot in the arm for AirDefense in light of analyst belief that the majority of startups dominating the 802.11 IDS space are unlikely to ever achieve the scale required to win the attention of large enterprises (see IDS Shakeout Ahead?).

Earlier this year AirDefense was also adopted as the technology behind IBM’s wireless intrusion detection managed security service (see AirDefense Links With IBM).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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