Cisco nabs security software firm

Cisco Systems Inc. on Friday announced it will purchase Waltham, Mass.-based Okena Inc., a network security software provider.

Under the agreement, approximately US$154 million of Cisco common stock will be exchanged for all outstanding shares and options of Okena, according to Cisco.

Okena provides intrusion prevention software, including its INCORE architecture (Intercept Correlate Rules Engine), which intercepts network actions and files, correlates rules and application states to in turn enable real-time decisions based on the behaviour of applications.

The company also offers StormSystem, intrusion prevention solutions which the company says proactively preserve the operational integrity of applications and host systems from attacks. StormSystem includes StormWatch, the company’s flagship product; StormFront, which the company calls a snap-in policy generator; and StormTrack, a tool which uses both the rules and correlation engines of StormWatch to provide companies with a detailed view of their host systems and applications. The company has 52 employees, who will all join Cisco’s Virtual Private Network and Security Business Unit once the acquisition is complete.

Cisco has of late been making a push in the security arena. In November the firm announced a number of security enhancements to its networking product line, and has since been placing a lot of emphasis on adding embedded security technology such as firewalls and virtual private network (VPN) acceleration modules to routers and other devices.

Cisco is on the Web at