Cisco Gets ScanSafe SaaS Security

It wasn't the biggest buy in Cisco's October buying bonanza, but it is the first to close and could have serious implications for mobile VPN customers.

 By Sean Michael Kerner
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October was a big month for Cisco Systems during which it announced no less than four proposed acquisitions. Among them was the $183 million bid for software-as-a-service security vendor ScanSafe.

Today, just over a month later, Cisco has announced that it has closed the ScanSafe deal.

ScanSafe will now become part of Cisco's Security Technology Business Unit (STBU), which is also home to Cisco's IronPort e-mail security division. With ScanSafe, Cisco aims to expand its Web-based security portfolio by leveraging ScanSafe's Anywhere+ SaaS service that provides malware protection and policy usage enforcement on users' laptops.

ScanSafe also offers Web-filtering technology that includes a URL-filtering database and filetype filters to protect users from Web-based threats.

SaaS and cloud-based security has been a big thrust for Cisco in 2009 with multiple announcements, including a new Ironport cloud security service for e-mail.

The plan is for the ScanSafe technology to be integrated with Cisco's AnyConnect VPN Client in an effort to help customers further secure mobile VPNs.

As a privately held company, ScanSafe didn't require Cisco to get the same approvals that it has needed to close several other pending deals. On Oct. 1, Cisco announced its intention to purchase video conferencing vendor Tandberg for $3 billion. That deal required Cisco to have the approval of 90 percent of Tandberg's shareholders, which was a sticking point that added an additional $400 million to the bid and has extended the deadline for closure several times.

This article was originally published on Dec 7, 2009
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