Cisco Acquisition Signals Network Security Push

The $39 million buy of Riverhead Networks, a network protection software maker, marks Cisco's further investment in security as a revenue driver.

Cisco Systems Inc. on Monday continued its push into the security market by acquiring Riverhead Networks Inc., a small developer of tools to prevent denial-of-service attacks, for $39 million in cash.

Cisco plans to add Riverhead to its Internet Switching Business Unit and use the companys technology to enhance its Threat Defense System portfolio of security products. Cisco, along with several other infrastructure providers such as Juniper Networks Inc., has identified security as being a key revenue driver in the current climate.

Riverhead, based in Cupertino, Calif., has a two-tiered architecture that is capable of identifying Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack traffic and diverting it. After shunting the attack packets away from their intended targets, the systems Guard appliance inspects the traffic and removes the attack packets. The other packets are then forwarded to their original destinations.

Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., has been active in the security market as of late. For several years, the company has had a line of firewalls and VPN solutions, but in the past year or so it also has unveiled its Network Admission Control initiative and its Self-Defending Network program. Both programs are designed to use existing infrastructure to help limit damage caused by worms and viruses.

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