Cisco buys endpoint security firm Meetinghouse

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Networking giant Cisco Systems announced Thursday that it has acquired endpoint security firm Meetinghouse Data Communications for $43.7 million.

By adding the Portsmouth, N.H., vendor to its security arsenal, Cisco will be able to "provide a single unified wired and wireless client to enterprise customers that will help them reduce operational costs by simplifying the security management of a broad array of host devices and operating systems," a Cisco statement said.

Meetinghouse, a 77-employee firm founded in 1988, offers software that lets enterprise customers restrict network access to only authorized users or host devices. The solution serves as a "natural extension" of Cisco's network access offering.

"The growth in the number of cases of unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential information in enterprise networks has increased the need for securing connectivity through robust, easy-to-manage client-based security solutions," said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager for Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit (WNBU).

The deal, pending regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year, which ends Oct. 28. All Meetinghouse employees and products will be integrated in Cisco's WNBU.

Since being founded in 1984, Cisco has made scores of acquisitions, including security firms such as Protego Networks, M.I. Secure and certain assets of Cybertrust. Last month, the San Jose, Calif.,-based Cisco acquired Audium, makers of technology that powers enterprise voice applications.

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