The networking giant announced it will pay $74 million in cash for San Francisco start-up Perfigo, a developer of network access control products. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco's fiscal 2005, which ends in January.
Perfigo's CleanMachines products focus on policy analysis, compliance and access enforcement for PCs. The company's technology fits into Cisco's(NAC) program, a security architecture that combines virus scanning with network policing to keep attacks from entering the network in the first place.
Cisco said that CleanMachines has shown great customer appeal among small and midsize businesses and is widely used in educational institutions.
"This acquisition further enhances Cisco's Self Defending Network security strategy of building and deploying proactive and advanced security into the network infrastructure," Richard Palmer, vice president in Cisco's security technology group, said in a statement.
Cisco has been pushing its NAC architecture since last year. In June, it completed theof the launch by making its IP routers NAC-ready. It plans to add the capability to its Ethernet switches and virtual private network concentrators in 2005.
Earlier this week, Cisco announced it is, which has proposed a called . The two companies have pledged to make their architectures interoperable.
Cisco began building the NAC architecture after an acquisition last year. In January 2003, Cisco announced it would buyin order to provide technology for the "trusted agent," which sits on users' PCs and communicates with the Cisco policy server.
Cisco has recently bought start-ups in other categories as well. Last month, it announced the acquisition of, a Session Initiation Protocol software developer, and , a network management start-up.