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Cisco Systems Inc. on Monday continued its push into the security market by acquiring Riverhead Networks Inc., a small developer of tools to prevent denial-of-service attacks, for $39 million in cash.

Cisco plans to add Riverhead to its Internet Switching Business Unit and use the company’s technology to enhance its Threat Defense System portfolio of security products. Cisco, along with several other infrastructure providers such as Juniper Networks Inc., has identified security as being a key revenue driver in the current climate.

Riverhead, based in Cupertino, Calif., has a two-tiered architecture that is capable of identifying Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack traffic and diverting it. After shunting the attack packets away from their intended targets, the system’s Guard appliance inspects the traffic and removes the attack packets. The other packets are then forwarded to their original destinations.

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