Cisco To Pay $74 Million for Security Vendor Perfigo

In another move to exterminate worms and viruses in networked businesses, Cisco today said it would buy Perfigo for $74 million in cash.

Perfigo’s CleanMachines is a “shrink-wrapped” network admission control solution that recognizes users, their devices and roles; evaluates the security posture of the endpoint and scans for vulnerabilities; and enforces policy in the network.

“This acquisition further enhances Cisco’s Self Defending Network security strategy of building and deploying proactive and advanced security into the network infrastructure,” said Richard Palmer, vice president in Cisco’s Security Technology Group.

“Security is at the top of the list when customers look for network solutions, and Perfigo will provide our small and medium business customers secure, resilient and intelligent networks,” he said.

The Perfigo deal marks Cisco’s third security acquisition in the past 18 months. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2005.

Good Fit

In the meantime, Cisco has licensed Perfigo’s CleanMachines solution and will make it available to customers this month. The Perfigo team will be integrated into Cisco’s Security Technology Group.

Yankee Group senior analyst Zeus Kerravala told the E-Commerce Times that CleanMachines fits nicely into Cisco’s Network Admission Control (NAC) architecture.

“Cisco clearly understands that security is an end-to-end story today,” Kerravala said. “That’s not just across the network, but all the way to the desktop.

“This acquisition allows Cisco to go where they haven’t been before: the desktop. That opens up a whole new marketing opportunity for them.”

Kerravala predicted that Cisco would likely make additional security-related acquisitions around virtual private networks or security management in the future.

Other Security Moves

Security is definitely on the minds of Cisco executives these days. Earlier this week, Cisco announced a security partnership with Microsoft in which the two tech giants will share and integrate their respective security and health assurance technologies.

The duo’s goal is to deliver solutions that will help mutual customers better address the increased threat and impact of malicious software.

Last week Cisco teamed up with IBM for security updates designed to further protect networks from worms and viruses. The update to IBM’s Tivoli software will enable it to work more closely with Cisco’s NAC Technologies.

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