By

Cisco Systems is buying privately held Web security company ScanSafe for about $183 million, a move that will intensify its battle with security giants Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc.

n

ScanSafe sells Web-based services that protect business computer networks and PCs from hackers, saving companies the cost of buying and installing software on their own equipment.

n

The top two security software companies, Symantec and McAfee, already sell such products, which are known as "cloud" services and whose sales are growing at a far faster clip than traditional software.

n

Cisco announced the deal on Tuesday, saying it expects the transaction to close in its fiscal second quarter that ends in January 2010.

n

The $183 million price tag includes cash and retention-based incentives, Cisco said.

n

The deal helps Cisco expand its security portfolio, which includes email and Web security software company IronPort that it bought in 2007.

n

San Jose, California-based Cisco has in recent months stepped up its pace of acquisitions. It announced deals for wireless equipment maker Starent Networks Corp for $2.9 billion and Norwegian video conferencing maker Tandberg for $3 billion. Chief Executive John Chambers has said he was looking to do more.

n

Cisco shares fell 15 cents, or 0.6 percent to $23.55 in afternoon Nasdaq trade. That was narrower than the 1 percent drop in the Nasdaq Composite Index.

Leave Your Comment(s)