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Networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. will pay $5 million in cash for Twingo Systems, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of desktop security tools for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) VPNs, announced officials today.

SSL VPNs, unlike more traditional IPSec VPNs, let users remotely access corporate networks without having client software installed on their machines. Instead, users log in through Web browsers over a link encrypted with SSL. But because users can access networks in public locations or at home, sensitive data can be put at risk. Cisco says Twingo’s software will help it provide better endpoint security, officials said.

“This has really been the Achilles’ heel for SSL VPN technology,” said Scott Pope, manager of security platforms for Cisco’s VPN and Security Business Unit, in San Jose, Calif.

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