October 27, 2015 / 9:55 PM / 4 years ago

Cisco buys Lancope for $452 million in latest security deal

A visitor walks past a Cisco advertising panel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Networking company Cisco Systems Inc CSC.O added to its small but growing security portfolio on Tuesday, saying it was acquiring privately held Lancope, which helps protect networks from cyber security breaches.

Cisco has had a commercial agreement since 2012 to sell Lancope products, which analyze and prevent threats against company networks. Cisco said it paid $452.2 million in cash and equity awards for the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company, which had been backed by venture capital firms Canaan Partners, Council Capital and H.I.G. Ventures.

This would be Cisco’s fourth deal in security over the past 12 months. It also acquired cloud-based security firm OpenDNS for $635 million and bought NeoHapsis and Portcullis Computer Security for undisclosed sums.

“Security is one of Cisco’s top priorities. You will continue to see us invest resources across the full landscape including on the investment side and on the acquisition side,” Rob Salvagno, vice president of corporate development, said in an interview.

Cisco’s security business generated $1.74 billion for its fiscal year ended in July, a 12 percent increase year over year.

Some analysts have speculated that Cisco should buy a larger target in the security space. Its last big security deal was Sourcefire which it bought for $2.7 billion in 2013.

Cisco, which has acquired dozens of companies over the years, is shifting toward high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centers.

Cisco shares closed up 10 cents at $29.05 per share on Tuesday.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by David Gregorio

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