October 27, 299 -- Networking giant Cisco Systems announced today it plans to acquire privately-held ScanSafe, which provides cloud based security services, for $183 million.

ScanSafe is a no license on demand provider that IDC named as a leader with over 30 percent of the worldwide software-as-a-service Web security market. ScanSafe's services for scanning and filtering are contained in a multi-layered combination of threat detection called Outbreak Intelligence that includes third-party anti-virus engines and ScanSafe's own heuristics.

Cisco's security portfolio, which covers email and Web, is currently based on technology from IronPort, which Cisco acquired in 2007.

IDC says the SaaS sector of Web security is expected to reach $513 million by 2013 with compound annual growth of 46.5 percent for the next five years.

Cisco has increased its pace of acquisitions in recent months with the purchase of wireless equipment maker Starent Networks for $2.9 billion and Norwegian video conferencing specialist Tandberg for $3 billion.

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