Cisco will pay $183m for Scansafe, which specialises in software as a service security, as it attempts to improve its security credentials.
Cisco expects the web security market to grow to $2.3bn by2012.
“With the acquisition of ScanSafe, Cisco is executing on our vision to build a borderless network security architecture that combines network and cloud-based services for advanced security enforcement,” said Tom Gillis, general manager of Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit.
“Cisco will provide customers the flexibility to choose the deployment model that best suits their organization and deliver anytime,anywhere protection against Web-based threats.”
Mark Tickle, Webroot EMEA managing director, said the acquisition would present significant challenges from a channel perspective; increased staff turnover could impact continuity and IP retention, and he anticipated changes to Scansafe's product roadmap, too.
"Cisco works through a two tier channel, and Scansafe only has one tier," he added.