Cisco Adds Muscle to Security Push

By Sean Michael Kerner

Further tightening the security of its enterprise networking products, Cisco today said it would buy privately held Twingo Systems for $5 million in cash.

The deal comes days after Cisco touted new security hardware and software as part of its “self-defending network” strategy.

The systems-based strategy is intended to ensure that viruses and other such malware threats don’t enter the corporate enterprise through insecure points of entry.

“Twingo was a great company to work with, they have an excellent combination of talent and technology (and) met the criteria that we have for evaluating acquisitions,” Cisco spokesperson Elizabeth McNichols told

The Mountain View, Calif., company’s Virtual Secure Desktop offering improves the security of an Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Network session by addressing its traditional shortcomings.

SSL VPNs allow remote users to connect to corporate networks through a Web browser interface. Twingo’s technology provides a single location for session activity, making it easier to remove sensitive information that may be cached in history files, temporary files, cookies and other downloaded data.

The offering is also intended to help ensuring consistent functionality and application accessibility for end-users.

“This is a very unique technology because it provides a consistent approach to end-point security,” said McNichols, adding that Twingo’s offering complements Cisco’s products.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. When it does, Cisco will integrate Twingo’s product into its existing WebVPN solution, beginning with the Cisco VPN 3000 Concentrator series.

McNichols declined to speculate what other areas of SSL-based VPN security Cisco was still looking to reinforce.

But Cisco is not alone in pulling security software closer toward network infrastructure. The firm’s nearest rival Juniper Networks . Last month, it agreed to acquire security and access technology specialist NetScreen for $4 billion in stock.

The deal, which is expected to close in the coming months, will put Juniper and Cisco in more direct competition for enterprise customers. Previously, Juniper has done most of its business with telecom service providers.

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