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Cisco buys 'network bouncer' firm Perfigo

No jeans, no trainers, no unpatched XP kit

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Cisco yesterday announced plans to acquire privately-held network security firm Perfigo for approximately $74m in cash. The acquisition, which is subject to various standard closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of January 2005.

Perfigo's CleanMachines access control technology provides "endpoint policy analysis, compliance, and access enforcement capabilities". Think of it as a network security bouncer that has issues with people entering the network with unpatched XP machines rather than people entering clubs with jeans and t-shirts.

Cisco plans to use Perfigo's technology to enhance its Network Admission Control (NAC) program, particular to small businesses where Perfigo has had the most success thus far. Earlier this week Cisco and Microsoft announced a partnership to make their respective scan-and-block network security systems (Cisco's Network Access Control and Microsoft's Network Access Protection architectures) interoperable.

Cisco has licensed Perfigo's CleanMachines solution and will make it available to customers in October 2004. The Perfigo team will be integrated into Cisco's Security Technology Group post acquisition. The Perfigo deal is the fourth in a series of acquisitions this year by Cisco in the security arena. In March Cisco bought anti-DDoS firm Riverhead Networks. The firm has also acquired P-Cube, whose traffic management platform can help to ISPs identify and block compromised zombie PCs, and NetSolve since the start of the year. ®

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