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When: Jan. 24, 2003

What: Cisco buys network security software vendor Okena

FUDFactor: The Okena acquisition is a departure from Cisco's typical strategy and is a move toward end-to-end security.

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FUDBust: At first glance you might see the Okena acquisition as Cisco breaking away from its device-centric view of the world, but look closely and you'll see it reflects Cisco's struggle to get its security act together. Cisco has long wrestled with a unified security vision. Consider, for example, the company's security management strategy. In the past two years Cisco has introduced numerous solutions for deploying and managing security products, ranging from Cisco Secure Policy Manager (CSPM) to standalone device managers, such as the PIX Device Manager (PDM), to the recent VMS suites that plug into CiscoWorks. While each has its benefits, Cisco's approach to the management nightmare remains fragmented. It's little wonder why companies such as Check Point Software Technologies, which has just one management console, continue to win deals in large environments.

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