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Cisco to buy cloud security firm for $183 million

Cisco Systems plans to buy a Web-based security software company called ScanSafe, marking the third announced acquisition this month.

Cisco Systems said Tuesday it plans to buy privately held Web-based security software company ScanSafe for about $183 million.

The all-cash deal, which also includes retention-based incentives, is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal second quarter, which ends in January 2010.

ScanSafe is a cloud-based software service that allows customers to license the application on demand. Cloud-based services help customers save on costs, because they don't have to buy licenses to software and manage the software applications themselves.

The ScanSafe technology will help Cisco expand on capabilities it added when it bought IronPort in 2007, the company said. Cisco also plans to integrate ScanSafe's service with its AnyConnect VPN Client to provide a secure mobility solution. And Cisco will use ScanSafe's data centers to provide new cloud security services.

After a lull, Cisco has stepped up its acquisitions. This is the third acquisition the company has announced this month. Two weeks ago it said it would buy wireless equipment maker Starent Networks for $2.9 billion. And at the beginning of the month, it said it would buy Norwegian video conference equipment maker Tandberg for $3 billion. CEO John Chambers has said the company is looking for even more acquisitions.