Cisco will pay $183m for Scansafe, which specialises in software as a service security, as it attempts to improve its security credentials.
Cisco expects the web security market to grow to $2.3bn by2012.
“With the acquisition of ScanSafe, Cisco is executing on our vision to build a borderless network security architecture that combines network and cloud-based services for advanced security enforcement,” said Tom Gillis, general manager of Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit.
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“Cisco will provide customers the flexibility to choose the deployment model that best suits their organization and deliver anytime,anywhere protection against Web-based threats.”
Mark Tickle, Webroot EMEA managing director, said the acquisition would present significant challenges from a channel perspective; increased staff turnover could impact continuity and IP retention, and he anticipated changes to Scansafe's product roadmap, too.
"Cisco works through a two tier channel, and Scansafe only has one tier," he added.