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Acquisition To Deliver Policy Compliance To Channel

In a move that targets the increased threats of worms and viruses to networked businesses, Cisco Systems Thursday said it will acquire privately owned endpoint compliance vendor Perfigo in a deal worth approximately $74 million.

Although the acquisition is expected to close early next year, a separate OEM agreement allows Cisco solution partners to immediately sell Perfigo's CleanMachines policy enforcement server, console and agent software.

Russell Rice, Cisco's manager of product marketing for system security technologies, said Perfigo's product will extend Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC). That framework, built into a variety of Cisco's routers and switches, is designed to enforce policy compliance at the endpoint, so that customers can implement self-defending networks.

An admission control product of its own, CleanMachines recognizes users, their devices and their roles, assesses endpoint vulnerabilities and then enforces security policy. Since the product's November launch, it has become popular among small- and medium-size businesses, as well as colleges and universities. With Perfigo Cisco finally has a single product that ensures endpoint policy compliance, potentially expanding NAC to SMB customers that do not want to knit a patchwork quilt of disparate products.

"We view the compliance market as an important one, and we intend to bring it down from the enterprise," Rice said. "The solution blends very well [with NAC], and solves lower- to mid-market scenarios that NAC was not designed to target initially."

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