Cisco buys network security company Perfigo

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems is to buy Perfigo for $74m (£40.5m), boosting the company's efforts to secure network...

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems is to buy Perfigo for $74m (£40.5m), boosting the company's efforts to secure network "endpoints" and protect them from worms, viruses and hacking.

Perfigo sells network access control technology for securing endpoints such as remote worker desktops, mobile and wireless computers. It will join Cisco's Security Technology Group and the company's products, including SecureSmart and CleanMachines, will be added to Cisco's evolving Network Admissions Control (NAC) portfolio.

NAC portfolio uses client security programmes and Cisco networking gear to inspect machines before they are connected to corporate networks.

Founded in May 2002, Perfigo is privately held and backed by venture firm Greylock. The company unveiled its first product, SecureSmart, last April. The product allows customers to manage and authenticate users connecting to wired and wireless networks.

The company's second product, CleanMachines, appeared in November 2003 and combines network and device-based vulnerability scans with network security policies to evaluate the security of user machines.

Using CleanMachines, customers can quarantine devices that do not adhere to security polices in an isolated area of a network, then use network-based compliance and remediation tools to resolve any security issues raised in the scan, according to information on Perfigo's website.

Perfigo's software runs on a hardened Linux platform and ties in with an enterprise's existing user authentication infrastructure, such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service and Kerberos.

Cisco expects to complete its acquisition of Perfigo in its second fiscal quarter, which ends 29 January 2005. Cisco has already licensed CleanMachines and will begin selling it this month.

Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service

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