Cisco to buy network access vendor Meetinghouse

The $43.7 million acquisition will help the networking giant manage preventing any unauthorized devices from getting on a wireless network

Cisco Systems plans to buy Meetinghouse Data Communications, an endpoint security software vendor based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The $43.7 million acquisition will give help the networking giant "provide a single unified wired and wireless client for enterprise customers" that prevents any unauthorized devices from getting on a network, Cisco said in a statement Thursday.

Meetinghouse's AEGIS line of authentication software is used to manage network access using the IEEE 802.1x standard.

Meetinghouse also sells a software development kit used by semiconductor vendors to build 802.1x authentication capabilities into their network adapters.

The acquisition will play into Cisco's strategy of integrating security management software into its hardware, an initiative it calls the Self-Defending Network, said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure with Yankee Group Research Inc.

"Cisco is always looking for things that make their security strategy stronger, " he said.

Privately held Meetinghouse was founded in 1988 by its current president, Paul Goransson, and has 77 employees.

Pending regulatory approvals, the purchase is expected to close by the end of October, at which point Meetinghouse will be absorbed into Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cisco said.

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