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12/20/2004
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Cisco Continues Security Buying Binge With $65M Acquisition

Networking leader buys Protego Networks, which makes a line of security-monitoring and threat-management appliances.

As part of its ongoing effort to expand its line of security products and capabilities, Cisco Systems on Monday said it will buy Protego Networks Inc., a maker of security-monitoring and threat-management appliances, for around $65 million.

The acquisition is the latest move by Cisco to expand its line of security products and to make improved security capabilities an integral part of its networking-infrastructure products. The company on Monday also revealed that nearly two dozen vendors have joined its Network Admission Control program, which restricts network access to devices that comply with established security policies.

Protego was founded in 2002 and has 38 employees. It makes a line of appliances that use security-event monitoring, an understanding of network topology, and anomaly detection to monitor, manage, and mitigate security threats. Protego has been a partner with Cisco, and the two companies have been jointly selling its security products to customers. Protego's employees will be integrated into Cisco's Security Technology Group, according to Cisco, which expects the deal to close buy late January.

Cisco has been aggressive in acquiring security technology, and Protego joins a number of other security companies it has purchased. Cisco earlier this year bought Perfigo, a maker of access-control systems; Riverhead Networks, a developer of technology to fight distributed denial-of-service attacks; and Twingo Systems, which provides desktop-security software for VPNs.

"The acquisition of Protego further emphasizes Cisco's commitment to network security," Richard Palmer, a VP in Cisco's Security Technology Group, said in a statement, "and their leadership in security monitoring, threat management, and mitigation complements our ongoing work in security."

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