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Cisco To Acquire Security Vendor Meetinghouse

Cisco plans to acquire Meetinghouse Data Communications, which makes endpoint security and network access software, in a $43.7 million deal.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based Meetinghouse plays in the AAA (authentication, authorization, accounting) market and previously competed against Funk Software, which Juniper purchased last December for $122 million.

Meetinghouse's client-side security software supports 802.1x, a standard for port-based network access control that simplifies the process of managing security across a wide range of host devices and operating systems, and ensures that only authorized users and host devices can connect to the network through wireless and wired connections.

Cisco plans to integrate Meetinghouse's AEGIS SecureConnect product line to provide a unified wired and wireless client to the enterprise market, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant said yesterday in a statement.

Gary Berzack, CTO of eTribeca, a New York-based wireless integrator, says the acquisition will allow Cisco to finally answer Juniper's acquisition of Funk.

"One of the challenges for Cisco has been what to do about preventing more egg on their face with Funk acquisition from Juniper," said Berzack.

Berzack says the need for Meetinghouse's technology is growing rapidly as wireless and wired network design becomes more complex. This acquisition puts Cisco in an excellent position to package Meetinghouse as part of a pure Cisco solution, he added.

Meetinghouse, which has 77 employess, was founded in 1988.

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