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Cisco Beefs Up Security Portfolio With Riverhead Networks Acquistion

Cisco Systems added to its security arsenal today by announcing it would acquire Riverhead Networks, a privately owned vendor of appliances that protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Cisco, which had previously invested in the Cupertino, Calif.-based Riverhead, said it would pay $39 million in cash for the 90 percent of the company's shares it did not own. Jeff Platon, senior director for product and technology marketing at Cisco, said that since the Riverhead products have mainly been used by service providers or large enterprises, the Riverhead technology will likely first be incorporated into a card for Cisco's 6000 Series higher-end switches.

"It's likely that the [Riverhead] technology will appear in other platforms as well, over time," Platon said.

According to the Riverhead Web site, the company's products use a combination of several filtering, verification and analysis technologies to detect and deflect or contain attacking traffic. Cisco's Platon said Riverhead's ability "to perfect a new technology" in the DDoS protection space compelled Cisco to purchase the firm outright, both for the technology and the company's 44 employees.