The acquisition also gives Cisco a leg up into the messaging compliance market. In November 2006 IronPort acquired PostX to provide outbound encryption of corporate e-mail. IronPort also has filters to scan outgoing e-mail for sensitive medical or financial information and take appropriate action, such as blocking or alerting. It also includes templates for e-mail compliance with HIPAA and GLB regulations.
The messaging compliance angle is the most interesting part of this deal. Why? The anti-spam market is mature, and while it will provide a steady income for Cisco, its growth has leveled off. By contrast, compliance is driving a whole new Information Leak Prevention (ILP) industry. Regulatory compliance and privacy protection will be the top two drivers of information security, according to Ernst & Young.
The purchase may also indicate that Cisco is in the market for a broader ILP product???e-mail is just one part of a robust perimeter suite that should include HTTP, IM and other communication protocols. A host of young ILP companies will be waiting for Cisco's call.