Cisco announced it has
completed the acquisition of privately held IronPort Systems, Inc., the
leading provider of e-mail and web security products that provides
protection to businesses of all sizes – from small organizations to
Fortune 1,000 firms – from spam, spyware, phishing, and other Internet
security threats.

The acquisition, announced January 4, 2007, for $830 million in cash
and stock, marks a significant step in Cisco’s evolution as a leader in
security and defines the future for information technology security.
IronPort’s products and technology enable Cisco to extend its
Self-Defending Network strategy to now include Wide Traffic Inspection
capabilities, ensuring a new approach that combines the depth of
network-level security with the breadth of capabilities for inspecting
e-mail, web and Instant Messaging traffic.

A core element that powers IronPort is SenderBase, the world’s first
and largest e-mail and Web traffic monitoring service. SenderBase is a
unique database that collects information from more than 100,000
Internet service providers, universities and corporations around the
world. It measures more than 110 parameters for any active e-mail and
Web server on the Internet, helping to determine the trustworthiness of
the source of any e-mail or Web traffic. This massive database receives
more than 5 billion queries per day, and because of its size and scope,
it can provide an extremely accurate, global view of the behavior of
e-mail and web servers across the Internet.

According to Richard Palmer, senior vice president and general manager
of Cisco’s Security Technology Group, this evolution of the
Self-Defending Network strategy will enable Cisco to provide customers
with integrated end-to-end IT security never before offered from a
single company.

“The acquisition of IronPort provides Cisco with a proven business that
is already respected as a leader in the messaging and Web security
space,” Palmer said. “The addition of IronPort represents the next
chapter in the evolution of the Self-Defending Network, and it
accelerates Cisco’s growth opportunities. Most important, it
dramatically extends the solutions we can provide our customers as
security threats and demands evolve.”

Cisco’s vision for a Self-Defending Network is to incorporate
protection into the entire network infrastructure (within its core
routing and switching portfolio) and extend that protection from the
network (at the packet level) to applications and content. The addition
of IronPort’s content security technology allows Cisco to provide Wide
Traffic Inspection that integrates network and content analysis to stop
the most sophisticated threats and protect all major application
protocols, endpoints, and the network itself.

“Cisco’s acquisition of IronPort underscores the convergence between
secure content management and threat management needed to address
today’s complex threat environment,” said Brian Burke, research manager
for IDC’s Security Products service. “IT departments have moved away
from a focus on a single type of protection, such as antivirus, toward a
broader focus on threats designed to get past point-solution security
and target multiple vulnerabilities in clients and corporate networks.”

“IronPort is known for building industry-leading e-mail appliances, but
when we introduced our Web security appliance last year, we realized the
power of products working better together,” said Scott Weiss, former CEO
of IronPort and now general manager of the IronPort Business Unit
reporting to Palmer. “Our e-mail products are better because we have a
web product and vice versa. Merging this technology into Cisco’s
Self-Defending Network portfolio crea
tes even more powerful solutions
for the marketplace.”