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UPDATE--Cisco and IronPort discuss merger plans

By , Network World
January 04, 2007 08:24 AM ET

Network World - Cisco today announced plans to acquire IronPort Systems for $830 million, with both companies saying that once the deal is closed, which is expected by April, integration of IronPort’s core technologies into Cisco’s Self-Defending Network framework would begin.

Jeff Platon, vice president of security solutions at Cisco said the goal is to integrate content security and network security, adding he couldn’t comment much further on what Cisco might do with IronPort’s core antispam and Web-filtering technologies beyond continuing to market existing IronPort appliances without disruptions.

However, Tom Gillis, vice president of marketing at IronPort, said Cisco and IronPort are discussing how to weave their technologies together in the future.

“For instance, Cisco intrusion-prevention systems could be put into the IronPort Web security appliance,” said Gillis. “And the IronPort ‘reputation filtering’ for e-mail, which throttles or blocks spam at the connection layer, could be useful in Cisco switches.”

Gillis said it's likely that IronPort’s 408 employees, with the exception of the chief financial officer, will join Cisco under an arrangement where IronPort’s existing salesforce will operate as an independent business unit. He noted there had been plans to take the company public, but those were shelved once the agreement to be acquired by Cisco was reached.

IronPort Systems was founded in 2000 by CEO Scott Weiss and Scot Banister, vice president of corporate strategy.

Platon confirmed Cisco intends to retain “virtually every member of the IronPort team” and will operate IronPort as a stand-alone business.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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