Cisco goes shopping

Cisco Systems is about to beef up its security offerings with the acquisition of Twingo Systems and Riverhead Networks for a combined US$44 million in cash.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  March 31, 2004

Cisco Systems is about to beef up its security offerings with the acquisition of Twingo Systems and Riverhead Networks for a combined US$44 million in cash. While the first deal will see the networking giant add Twingo’s secure socket layer (SSL) virtual private network (VPN) technology to its portfolio, the latter will help Cisco build products that prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The Twingo deal is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco’s 2004 fiscal year, subject to the customary closing conditions. When it does, the company will become part of Cisco’s VPN & Security Business Unit. Riverhead Networks, on the other hand, will become part of Cisco’s Internet Switching Business Unit. In terms of product integration, Cisco plans to incorporate Twingo’s Virtual Secure Desktop into its existing WebVPN solution, beginning with the Cisco VPN 3000 Concentrator series. The vendor also plans to utilise Twingo’s technology to bring the same quality of endpoint security available with IPSec VPNs to SSL VPN deployments by addressing legacy issues such as reliability. “Solving endpoint security issues and improving consistency of features and functionality regardless of location or end-system administrative permissions is key to the overall success of SSL VPN as a remote access technology,” says Richard Palmer, vice president & general manager, Cisco’s VPN & Security Business Unit. “Cisco’s acquisition of Twingo further emphasises our commitment to endpoint security and complements our development efforts in Network Admission Control and Cisco Security Agent (CSA) for assessing desktop security and delivering endpoint threat prevention,” he adds. With regard to Riverhead Networks, Cisco intends to incorporate the company’s technology into its suite of integrated security solutions to provide another layer of in-line protection. Riverhead Networks’ solution works by comparing traffic flows to learned profiles of normal traffic patterns, behaviour and protocol compliance. “This acquisition further enhances Cisco’s strategy to build secure intelligent global networks that seamlessly integrate security and other intelligent services with the network infrastructure,” says Luca Cafiero, senior vice president of Cisco Switching, Voice, and Storage Technology Group. “Riverhead adds to Cisco’s extensive product portfolio that enables our enterprise and service provider customers to build secure, resilient, and intelligent networks with high performance and scalability,” he adds.

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