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Cisco buys security tech company

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems has bought security technology developer Riverhead Networks for $39m in cash.

The privately held company specialises in software that protects against attacks on corporate and telecommunications networks, such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to Janey Hoe, Cisco's director of business development.

"Riverhead has unique technology that's patented. It can eliminate attacks based on malicious network behavior; learning the profiles of what's normal, detecting problems and being able to take action and respond quickly," she said.

Cisco already holds a 10% stake in Riverhead Networks and will be buying the remaining company shares in a deal that is expected to close by the end of next month, according to Jeff Platon, Cisco's senior director of product and technology marketing.

The purchase of Riverhead Technology continues Cisco's move to position itself as a provider of secure networking products.

On 12 March, Cisco announced its intention to purchase SSL (secure sockets layer) VPN (virtual private network) technology company Twingo Systems for $5m in cash, and last year it acquired network security software provider Okena for $154m.

"These acquisitions are all part of our strategy of bringing together various, serious components and technologies that support against threats that are known and unknown," Platon said.

"Customers will see a financially stable organisation that can enable enterprise and service provider customers to build intelligent networks that are also integrated with security for threats against business processes and services."

Similar acquisitions in the future can be expected, he added.

Cisco will, initially, take Riverhead's existing products and then integrate that technology into Cisco's secure global networks product and service line, Hoe said.

Riverhead, with 44 employees, will become part of Cisco's internet switching business unit. Cisco said, it will try and keep job cuts to a minimum.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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